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F1 world champion Max Verstappen has declared he will race with the number one in 2022 after clinching the title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

 

The Dutchman became the first from his country to win the world championship, taking the crown with a last-lap overtake on rival Lewis Hamilton into the newly reprofiled turn five.

 

The Red Bull driver indicated he would change from number 33 to number one if he won the championship, with that decision being confirmed by the 24-year-old after his victory.

 

 

The number one has been absent from F1 since individual driver numbers were introduced to the sport at the end of 2013, with Sebastian Vettel running with the number one in 2014 before Hamilton opted to keep the number 44 and Nico Rosberg retired after his victory in 2016.

 

 

Asked for the confirmation, Verstappen replied: “Yeah, I will run it.

“How many times can you do it? I don’t know, maybe it’s the only time in my life that I can.

 

 

“I think it is the best number out there so I will definitely put it on the car.”

 

 

Hamilton is yet to make a media appearance since losing out in dramatic circumstances at Yas Marina, with Mercedes lodging their intention to appeal the procedures that took place during the race.

 

 

On how he expects his rival to respond, Verstappen said: “Lewis is a great sportsman. It is what it is.

 

 

“Like I said before, it is racing, we all have to deal with it if it is positive or negative, but he will come back again very strongly because he is an amazing driver.”

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