Hamilton explained why he chose that number in 2019.
“I always start with No44 because that’s the number that I had on my go-kart when I was eight years old,” he revealed during the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony, where he finished second.
“It was my dad’s car registration number, F44, so each year it’s just a new chance to rise to the challenge.”
When appearing the Graham Norton television chat show in the same year, Hamilton used his choice of personal number to further demonstrate his motivation after a question about it now being more “dangerous” that he’s the driver to beat.
“It’s not more dangerous now, [but] I’m the second-oldest driver there, believe it or not,” he said.
“And [there are] these 19, 20 year olds that have come in, but no, honestly, I don’t think [it is more dangerous being champion].
“Naturally I think I am a target, but my race number when I was eight years old was 44. Even though I am number one, and I have been for the last couple of years and I should have number one on my car, I keep 44 on there.
“So every year I feel like I’m starting a clean slate and no one’s champion, but I want to be the champion.”