Lewis Hamilton used his own artistic and tech skills to come up with his striking new number design on the Mercedes W13.
Car number 44 has a fresh, vibrant look this season, with the digits standing out in a luminous yellow which brings to mind a highlighter pen.
But it was a different kind of design tool deployed by the seven-time former World Champion as he provided his own input into how the No 44 would look.
The colour of choice this season is yellow, with Hamilton reverting back to his earlier years in Formula 1 for his helmet design also – which had been predominantly purple and black for the two previous campaigns.
The number design has been likened to that utilised by MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, who had 46 on his bike, although Mercedes have insisted that is no more than coincidence.
Hamilton said he had the fans in mind with the new yellow number design, which provides a contrast to the blue 63 on his team-mate George Russell’s car.
“I noticed the spectators couldn’t distinguish the two cars very well,” said Hamilton, quoted by Motorsport-total.com. “I then brought the matter to the attention of my team.”
That was reported to have happened after the launch of the W13 in February – and the 37-year-old Briton got his iPad out and used a photo-editing programme to create his own design.
“I then sent Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team principal) and Ola [Källenius, Mercedes-Benz Group chairman] a few pictures of how the paintwork would look better,” explained Hamilton.
“I then looked at what colour would stand out the most and came up with yellow.
“We put that on the car, but then I realised that with the halo you still can’t see the helmet. So I decided to put some light on the helmet.”
Hamilton stuck with No 44 through his dominant period in Formula 1 when he won the World Championship six years out of seven between 2014 and 2020.
But Max Verstappen, who seized the crown last season, opted at the first opportunity to exercise the World Champion’s privilege to have No 1 on his car for the 2022 campaign.
Mercedes, Hamilton and Russell will be hoping to start turning around their disappointing start to the season with the all-new W13 at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Hamilton goes into round three of the championship trailing leader Charles Leclerc by 29 points.
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