IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay believes that carrying the #1 on his car during the 2013 season will not add any pressure, despite a recent reluctance by series champions to use the number.
No title winner has adopted the #1 plate since 2003 title-winner Scott Dixon used it for the 2004 IndyCar season; a year that ended with the New Zealander in 10th place.
However Hunter-Reay says that he is not concerned about the superstitions associated with the number, nor by the prospect of it making him a bigger target for his rivals.
"The biggest target comes from within our own organisation," said the American. "We put the most pressure on ourselves. We really don't care what anybody else thinks. We want to go out there and win. That's what really matters most.
"And I certainly put a lot of pressure on myself as well. We've got to redouble our efforts to even have a shot at defending our championship. But when it comes to the #1, it's all about the history of that number and it's been an IndyCar tradition for years.
"I remember as a kid as an IndyCar fan, watching the champion take the #1. So it brought it full circle."
Hunter-Reay's active preparations for his title defence began with a test at Sebring on Monday, although he insists that the work began as soon as the dust settled on the 2012 finale at Fontana in September.
"There's really never any sense of sitting still at Andretti Autosport," he said.
"We're always really planning for the future and making sure that we're moving forward at all costs.
"We knew that we had that one night after Fontana where we had some fun with the team and everything, and [then] we were on to 2013, focused on the future. So I was looking forward to getting back in the car again.
"I feel like the testing is a little bit too thin this year really for anybody. I think we're going to have a total of three chances in the car before [the opening round in] St. Petersburg, which is a bit drastic, but everybody's in the same boat."