Hamilton has raced with 44 since Formula One first introduced permanent driver numbers in 2014, choosing the double digit because it was the same one he raced with in go-karts.
And last year a Mercedes team member was held up at gunpoint in Mexico while travelling from the airport to his hotel.
Hamilton turned in a fastest lap time of 1:09.202 - a new track record at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace - to finish one-tenth of a second clear of Bottas at the head of the field as both Ferrari and Red Bull struggled to put up any kind of fight in FP1.
Hamilton said gunshots were fired and a member of the team had a firearm held to their head when a minibus was ambushed outside Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo on Friday night.
"Please say a prayer for my guys who are here as professionals today even if shaken". The laps were getting better and better, but it was all the time very close, so I'm pleased that in the end I could get it all together in Q3, get a good lap and put it on pole.
It is not the first time the Brazilian Grand Prix has been marred by threats against F1 teams and drivers. Once again, the incident has raised security concerns during the Brazilian GP.
He further added, "This happens every single year here. F1 and the teams need to do more, there's no excuse!"
In 2010, Jensen Button was the victim of an armed robbery attempt in the city.
Three Sauber engineers were robbed at gunpoint on the same evening.
"It's really weird and I guess everyone gets a lucky number at some stage, but we chose that.my dad chose that number when I was young". Meanwhile personnel from the FIA, the sport's governing body, were also caught up in a separate incident, but escaped unharmed.
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