Lewis Hamilton has announced that he is changing his name.
Speaking onstage at the 2022 Dubai Expo, he said: "I'm really proud of my family's name: Hamilton.
"Actually none of you might know that my mum's [sur]name is Larbalestier.
"And I'm just about to put that in my name. Because I don't really fully understand the whole idea of why, when people get married, the woman loses her name. I really want her name to continue on with the Hamilton name."
Asked whether the change would come into effect in time for the first race of the season in Bahrain this weekend, the 37-year-old said: "It will be soon. No, I don’t know if it will be this weekend. But we're working on it."
Hamilton will begin his quest to reclaim the Formula One title after Max Verstappen controversially clinched it for Red Bull in the dying embers of last season.
Verstappen stormed past Mercedes' rival Hamilton on the last lap of the season-ending race at the Yas Marina Circuit at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December, having benefited from a late safety car that bunched up the pack.
Hamilton appeared to be charging to glory, easily holding Verstappen at bay in the closing laps, only for a crash for the Williams of Nicholas Latifi to change the course of events.
Confusion reigned as under-fire race director Michael Masi changed his mind to allow lapped cars to pass the safety car – meaning Verstappen had a clear run at Hamilton in the final lap and, on much faster tyres, made his move to claim a first F1 title.
Mercedes' appeals were unsuccessful, but last month Australian Masi was replaced as race director.
The FIA have installed Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich in his place, in a restructure of race control.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: "I would like to inform you that a new race management team will be put in place starting in Barcelona for the test session next week.
"Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas will act alternatively as race director, assisted by Herbie Blash as permanent senior advisor.
"Michael Masi, who accomplished a very challenging job for three years as Formula 1 race director following Charlie Whiting, will be offered a new position within the FIA."Featured Image Credit: Alamy