November 26, 2015 10:24:42 pm
The numbers could add up to something special for Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi this weekend as the triple Formula One champion chases his 44th win on the 44th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates in car 44.
“It’s cool how it all ties in,” the Mercedes driver, twice a winner at the Yas Marina circuit, told reporters on Thursday.
The Briton used the number 44 in his karting days and preferred to have it on his car this season instead of the number one that he would be entitled to as champion.
Abu Dhabi’s Tourism and Culture authority has jumped on the coincidence to highlight the National Day celebrations, with Hamilton recording a special video message to the local audience.
“I’m also going for my 44th grand prix win. That’s my target this weekend and I’m hopefully going to be celebrating with you all here,” he said in it. “So wish me luck, and happy 44th UAE National Day.”
Hamilton will also wear a logo in the UAE colours, based on the 44 theme, on his gloves and helmet.
German team mate Nico Rosberg, who has won the last two races, will have to get used to seeing the number 44 all around him this weekend as well as on the racetrack.
Race organisers have hung a large 44 banner on their headquarters and illuminated 44 signs flank the main highways into town where buses and billboards also have the number prominently displayed.
Rosberg, who has the number six on his car, is coincidentally going for his sixth successive pole position on Sunday.
Hamilton, who has already won the pole position trophy and wrapped up the championship with three races to spare, will not begrudge him that if the 44s all come together in a winning sequence on Sunday.