History in the making

Posted: 05.02.2014
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 5 February – Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso have chosen 7 and 14 respectively as their racing numbers for this year. Both numbers have already proved victorious in Formula 1 on Ferraris, but their glory days are ripe for revival. The number 7 first appeared on a Prancing Horse car in the 1953 British Grand Prix on Luigi Villoresi’s 500. The Italian started from sixth on the grid but retired with a technical problem while lying third. As for the 14, that was first seen on the Ferrari 125 of British privateer Peter Whitehead. He started the 1950 French Grand Prix last, but worked his way up to third at the flag. In 36 events with the number 7, Ferrari won twice, both times courtesy of John Surtees in the German GPs of 1963 and ’64. It also took four second places, five thirds and a further eleven points finishes. Therefore it hasn’t won for 50 years and it will be up to Kimi to end that particular drought.

Eight Ferrari drivers have carried the number 7, with Felipe Massa doing so most often, bearing it 19 times in 2010. Number 14 raced 23 times but only won once, thanks to Peter Collins in the 1956 French GP. Several names were linked to it on track: 18 in all, partly down to the rule that during the Fifties, organisers only allocated even numbers. The most regular user of 14, at least until this year’s Spanish Grand Prix, is the 1958 World Champion, Mike Hawthorn, who raced with it four times, the last occasion being that magical year’s Italian Grand Prix, where he finished second. 14 racked up a further four second places, a third and a further three points finishes. The last time this number was used by a Ferrari driver dates back to 1970, the Austrian Grand Prix to be precise, when Ignazio Giunti finished seventh at the wheel of a 312 B.