F1: Fernando Alonso gets special livery for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Annette Crawford
November 23, 2018

World Champions have the option to use the number 1 - which Sebastian Vettel took up in 2014 - but Hamilton has retained 44 in his title-defending campaigns in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

A rule in 2014 gave drivers numbers they kept for their entire career.

This system saw most drivers race with a number as decided by the order of the constructors' championship from the previous season - with the exception of the world champion and his team-mate who would run with the No 1 and No 2 respectively.

Hamilton's engine cover still carried number 44 while he is officially entered into this weekend's event under his usual number, meaning 44 will be used on timing screens and graphics, as per usual.

So, for the first time since Keke Rosberg donned a yellow-branded McLaren for the Portugese GP in 1986, McLaren has designed a one-off, never-to-be-seen-again livery featuring the blue, yellow and red of Alonso's helmet.

This is Alonso's McLaren livery for his final F1 race
McLaren to sport farewell livery for Alonso

The only other person to win the championship since the new regulation was Nico Rosberg, but he retired after doing so in 2016, meaning he never had the chance to carry the number on the front of his vehicle.

Fernando Alonso is driving a McLaren carrying a special paint job to celebrate his final grand prix - the rear of the vehicle carries the blue, red and yellow colours he has worn on his race helmet for the majority of his career. That of course, pays tribute to Alonso's home region of northern Spain.

Mercedes ia slao assessing Hamilton's engine during FP1 after the problem that affected his race at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Engine settings were changed to contain the risk while also maximising performance.

Seeing as this is Hamilton's last fresh power unit of the season, he will face a grid penalty if they have to install a new one at any point this weekend.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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