- Strange but true driver superstitions
- Seb has a lucky coin saved between the laces of his race boots
- Fernando Alonso keeps a small Japanese Anime character with him
- Sergio Perez keeps a a photo of the Pope
In their constant search for that competitive edge, many drivers over the years have been known to count on some pretty unusual and interesting superstitions! We’ve searched low and high looking for 5 of the best Formula 1 driver superstitions, both past and present. Let’s start our rundown with our friends at Scuderia Ferrari.
We all know that weight is key in Formula 1 with teams trying to shave off grams wherever possible, but that hasn’t prevented Sebastian Vettel being an avid fan of carrying good-luck charms.
It’s well known Seb keeps two shining pieces of lucky silver, given to him by his grandmother, under his laces. One of the charms is a medal for St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers
And like most drivers, Seb Vettel always likes to get behind the wheel from the same side, which is arguably F1’s most common driver superstition.
With 46 race wins and four world titles to his name, the lucky charms & superstitions have done the trick for #Seb5.
You may follow Fernando Alonso on Instagram – if you do you’ll notice several photos with his mascot Tomita. The miniature figurine originates from a Japanese role-playing video game, “Tales of Graces” which was released on the Playstation 3.
Fernando’s little mascot has travelled with world with him. It doesn’t stop there; he’s been inside the driver cockpit through Grands Prix and off-track visiting famous landmarks.
And Tomita was certainly lucky for Fernando through his title winning years of 2005 and 2006.
Many of today’s drivers have meaningful images and messages airbrushed onto their helmets, but Sergio Perez of Force India is one of the few drivers to personalise his car in the name of good luck.
Sergio is a devout Catholic and has carried with him a picture of the late Pope John Paul II inside the cockpit after meeting The Holy See several years ago in Italy.
Perez has said, “I have it because he touched my hand back in the 2000s. I really felt a big connection to him and these days, although he has died, I still feel a big connection to him. He’s someone who I really trust and feel is on my side all the time. I feel having him in my car is very important - he gives me extra strength.”
Strange but true, our research has taken us deep into the personal space of ex-Formula 1 star David Coulthard who had a long career racing with Williams, McLaren and Red Bull.
Nicknamed DC, he’s admitting to owning a lucky pair of underpants. From his early karting days he wore the same underwear for each race, until an unfortunate accident at Spa-Francorchamps. Medics had to cut off his race suit revealing a holey, worn-out pair of boxer shorts to the dismay of fans.
From that moment on, DC retired the “lucky” underwear from active service but carried them around with him in his team bag along with a four-leaf clover to bring the British driver good luck throughout his career.
7x Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher had a thing with racing with odd-numbered cars. This was never more apparent than when Michael joined the Mercedes team on his comeback from retirement in 2010 and asked to swap numbers with teammate Nico Rosberg. They swapped with Michael taking the wheel of the number 3 car and Nico Rosberg driving number 4.
It’s likely that Schumacher’s desire for a switch came from the fact that he had won all of his seven Formula 1 World Championships with an odd-numbered car (five times with the #1, oncewith the #3 and once with the #5), although it was perhaps the only time Schumy showed any signs of superstitious tendencies.
Drivers all have their own superstition and rituals that they perform before the start of a race, or even before they jump into the driver seat.
Go ahead and share some of your favourites with the Kaspersky Motorsport team.