The Kids Are Alright: The Youngest Drivers In Formula One History

by Rae Castillon

It doesn’t matter the sport or level of competition; youth always prevails and takes precedence over the formerly young now aging out of a sport, sometimes before their competitive prime has ended. When making your NFL picks at the beginning of a season can feel like uncharted territory because of a cast of new, young characters you aren’t entirely familiar with. In Formula One, the most talented drivers make it to the grid very young, and as soon as they have an FIA Super License and can be competitive at very young ages.

In this article, we will explore some of Formula One’s history and the record book and profile the most impressive records and performances by Young drivers. Fortunately, for new fans of the sport, many of these names are familiar and still active today, and their youthful performances are available on F1TV to be streamed while searching and researching other famous entertainment that catches the attention of the moment, such as the latest NFL predictions.

How Young Is Too Young to Drive A Formula One Car?

Have you ever met someone who proudly declares they don’t have their license at an advanced age and wondered how they didn’t get their license as a teenager? Learning to operate a vehicle and obtaining a driving license is almost a right of passage for many people worldwide. In some parts of the world, people can be licensed to drive a vehicle at sixteen.

Now, imagine a seventeen-year-old high-school student making their Formula One debut over the weekend. When Max Verstappen took to the grid for his first Formula One Grand Prix – the 2015 Australian Grand Prix – he was 17 years and 166 days old. While Max Verstappen is the current two-time Formula One Drivers World Champion, he was once a teenager learning to control the most advanced motorsports machinery in history. At the same age, most people struggle to parallel park or to find the best NFL expert picks.

Two other familiar names from the current crop of Formula One Drivers are the next youngest drivers to make their Grand Prix debuts. Lance Stroll made his debut at the 2017 Australian Grand Prix at 18 years, 148 days of age, while Lando Norris debuted in the 2019 Australian Grand Prix at 19 years, 124 days old.

The Youngest Winners In Formula One History

The list of the youngest Grand Prix winners features a familiar cast of super-talent drivers with familiar names and a few World Championships between them.

Reigning two-time World Champion Max Verstappen is the youngest driver to win a race, winning the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix at 18 years, 228 days on his debut drive for Red Bull Racing. Before Verstappen started setting records for being the youngest driver to achieve something, four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel was the man most associated with the records set as the youngest racer. Vettel won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix for Toro Rosso at 21 years and 73 days of age.

Vettel’s former Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc is the third youngest driver to win a Grand Prix, winning his first Formula One Grand Prix at the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix at the age of 22 years, 320 days. Former two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso is the fourth youngest driver to win their first Grand Prix at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix at 22 years and 26 days old.

The Youngest Drivers To Claim Pole Position

The best chance a driver has to win a Formula One race is by qualifying first, and controlling the Grand Prix from the front, although that’s not a guaranteed recipe for success. Only one of the youngest qualifiers has turned their maiden pole position into their first Grand Prix win.

Sebastian Vettel is the youngest driver to qualify on pole position for a Grand Prix, turning his shocking pole position at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix at 21 years, 72 days of age into his first career win. Vettel’s former teammate Leclerc is the second youngest driver to claim pole position, doing so at the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix at the age of 21 years, five months, and 15 days of age.

Fernando Alonso claimed his first pole position at the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix at the age of 21 years, seven months, and 23 days of age, while Max Verstappen is the fourth youngest driver to claim pole position, doing so at the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix at the age of 21 years, ten months, and 5 Days.

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