Lando Norris says he steered clear of choosing hero Valentino Rossi's #46 to use on his McLaren in Formula 1 because he did not want to be a "copycat".
The young British driver has been a fan of the MotoGP legend since he was young, and considered Rossi's famous number for his 2019 F1 step.
In the end Norris chose #4 instead because of how the digit looked, as well as its scope for use in the social media hashtag #L4ndo.
"There is a story behind #4: but the story is that there is no story," said Norris, speaking at the launch of the new OnePlus 6T McLaren special edition phone this week.
"The hashtag is great. But there has not been a number I have used consecutively in all the series.
"I had #31, I had #11, and in karting I had #33 and #46, but none of them meant a lot to me. So I just went with the one that looked the best. That's the best reason!
"I would have had #46 but I didn't want to just be a copycat, so I chose something for myself. I have something new that fits perfectly into my logo."
The #46 has only been raced once in F1 before, when British driver Will Stevens used it for Caterham in a one-off appearance for the team at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Norris's support of Rossi also made him aware of the career progression of fellow Brit Alexander Albon, who raced with the #46 in his karting career and will be stepping up to F1 as well next year.
"I looked up to Alex a lot when I was young, and I liked Alex because he liked Rossi and he used to have #46, and had the colours and everything," said Norris.
"So therefore I supported Alex when I was really young. He was probably my only hero other than Valentino Rossi, which is a bit weird to think.
"But he was always a cool guy and I used to watch him in all the races from the cadets to where he is now. It's a cool thing for Alex to be on the grid too."
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