Lewis Hamilton has revealed why the number 44 has followed him through his Formula 1 career.
Hamilton has utilised #44 on his F1 car since drivers were permitted to choose their own number, having done likewise through his karting career.
The world champion has turned down the chance to use #1 on his car after winning championships, having explained that it aids his mentality of not resting on his laurels – something that has paid off to the tune of five titles in the last six years.
Hamilton's use of 44 stretches back to his childhood, having spotted the number on his father's number plate.
"Of course each year I start basically it's a new fresh start for everyone," he said, speaking as part of BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award ceremony, where Hamilton was voted into second place.
"I always start with number 44 because that's the number that I had on my go-kart when I was eight years old.
"It was my dad's car registration number, F44, so each year it's just a new chance to rise to the challenge."
Hamilton finished second in the SPOTY ranking for the fourth time in his career, having won the award just once previously in 2014.
His chances of winning ay increase next year, with Michael Schumacher's records for world titles and grand prix victories within his sights, but Hamilton maintains that the benchmarks do not come on his radar.
"You know what honestly I never look at records," he said. "I don't really know why but I just remember growing up in Stevenage and watching Michael Schumacher win world championships.
"It's very, very surreal still to this day to have my name brought up in the same sentence as his. That's a real honour and something my family are very, very proud of."
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