Al wrote in to ask this:
Has there ever been a number 13 on a car [in F1] and if so who was it?
When the FIA published the 2008 entry list last week Toyota had numbers 11 and 12 then Scuderia Toro Rosso had numbers 14 and 15. There will be no number 13 – there hasn’t been for many years. But that hasn’t always been the case.
A car numbered 13 has only appeared once in a Grand Prix. Moises Solana qualified 11th for his first race – at home in Mexico City – in 1963 in a BRM numbered 13. He was a classified finisher in 11th despite his engine having failed eight laps short of the chequered flag.
Solana went on to compete in another seven Grand Prix but never with the number 13 again.
The only other occasion a car numbered 13 appeared in an F1 race weekend was in 1976 when Divina Galica attempted to qualify for her first Grand Prix (also her home race, at Brands Hatch) in Surtees-Ford number 13. She failed to make the race, as she did on her other two attempts to enter races in 1978.
And that is the very brief complete history of drivers who have raced (or nearly raced) in F1 with the number 13.
I’ve always felt superstitions like this are complete and utter nonsense. It irritates me that the sport’s governing body assumes everyone to be triskaidekaphobics (afraid of the number 13) and I’d like to see a driver stick two fingers up to the hocus-pocus and demand the number 13 on their car.
Seeing as Sebastien Bourdais will be making his Grand Prix debut at Melbourne in two month’s time it would be fitting if he did it.
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