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Verstappen will ditch famous 33 for number 1 if he defeats Hamilton for title

Verstappen will ditch famous 33 for number 1 if he defeats Hamilton for title

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Verstappen will ditch famous 33 for number 1 if he defeats Hamilton for title

Verstappen will ditch famous 33 for number 1 if he defeats Hamilton for title
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Max Verstappen has declared he will "absolutely" change his racing number from 33 to one next season if he wins the F1 drivers' title.

The Red Bull driver enters the remaining four races of the campaign with a 19-point buffer to seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, with Verstappen and his team favourites to add to that advantage at this weekend's São Paulo Grand Prix.

The number one has not been used in F1 since 2014, the only time since the sport introduced individual driver numbers, when Sebastian Vettel opted to use the number after winning his fourth world title the previous year.

Since then, Hamilton has kept his number 44 whilst the only other champion in that time, Nico Rosberg, retired after his triumph.

Asked if he would change his renowned 33 with which he has become synonymous for the number one, Verstappen replied: "Absolutely. How many times do you have the opportunity to drive the number one?"

He then joked: "It is good for merchandise as well so it is smart to do that."

No matter who takes home the championship crown, Verstappen will end the year with more wins than any other driver after picking up his ninth victory of the season in Mexico.

On whether he would feel the moral winner should he lose out, he insisted: "No because the only winner is the one who finishes on top. It doesn't matter how many races you win.

"Again, I have had a nice season - wins, nice pole positions and whatever happens at the end, it is not going to change my life. I have said it many times.

"I am just enjoying what I am doing and, of course, I will try to win the championship and we are looking good but a lot of things can happen."

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