As world champion, the Briton is fully entitled to use the number 1, however, he admits that he doesn’t want to, because he doesn’t like it.
“I personally don’t like it, I don’t like it at all,” he told reporters. “It was just for one session, it doesn’t really mean anything.
“The reason I did it is because I’ve been here for six years and since we’ve been world champions we’ve never had the number one on the car,” he continued, “and I thought it would just be cool.
“I remember when McLaren had number one when Jenson won the world title and he moved and brought it with him,” he added. “It’s strange that McLaren could then have number one, the next team can, wherever you go.”
The Briton revealed that the main reason for finally running with the number, albeit for just ninety minutes, was for the sake of fellow team members.
“I remember the engineers, or the mechanics, asking me at one stage would I ever do it,” he said. “I thought it would be cool to just have it on the car for one session so at least they will have a picture somewhere that they can be really proud of that we were number one.
“44 is my special number,” he admitted, “and in actual fact everyone in the team or on my car particularly was saying to me that when they are travelling they’ll see a bus number 44 and then they will see a flight or a seat number 44. It’s becoming part of their lives, which is great because that’s exactly how it is with me.”
Check out our Friday gallery from Yas Marina, here.