Lewis Hamilton explains the significance of No.44 to his career

F1 Grand Prix of Australia

Lewis Hamilton has revealed the relevance of No.44 and why the number has stuck with him since his karting days as a young teen.

The 34-year-old failed to convert from his record equalling eighth Australian Grand Prix pole position two weeks ago, and never seemed comfortable in his Mercedes, which the team subsequently claimed was damaged early in the race.

The five-time world champion offered no excuse after his struggles at Albert Park, where his teammate Valtteri Bottas blitzed the field and won the race by over 20 seconds.

Hamilton will look to send a message to rivals Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen when practice starts in Bahrain on Friday.

The Stevenage-born icon came home in third at last year’s race in Sakhir, behind winner Vettel and second-place Bottas.

He had, though, fought his way through the pack having only managed to qualify in a disappointing ninth position.

The 5.4km Sakhir circuit is expected to be kinder to Ferrari than the semi-street track in Melbourne, and Hamilton has warned his Mercedes team ‘to stay on their toes’ as the 34-year-old looks to bounce back and secure his first victory of the season.

Hamilton recently spoke with nss magazine regarding the significance of ‘44’ and the history behind the number.

“The number came from my karting days. When we arrived at my first race, I looked at my dad’s number plate and it had ‘44’ on it, and then it just became my lucky number,” said Hamilton.

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“I hope one day there will be a movie about it.”

It is a number that has seen Hamilton rise through the ranks of the junior karting scene in the Champions of the Future series back in 1996, to now, where he has claimed five F1 world championships and is the highest paid driver on the planet.

Unsurprisingly, Hamilton brings ‘44’ out of a long F1 retirement. The last driver to run with Hamilton’s ‘44’ was also British, albeit a little-known one - a man named Tony Trimmer of Melchester Racing used it en-route to failing to qualify for the 1977 British GP.

Hamilton claims to not be superstitious, but few can argue with the enormous success the Mercedes driver has had since he first laid eyes on ‘44’ on his father’s car.

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