Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Young Upstarts

By Simon

Maybe I’m showing my age here, because I’m getting a little worried by the ages of some of the drivers in F1.  I know there’ll always be a young prodigy (see Emerson Fittipaldi) who'll burst onto the F1 stage years ahead of schedule, but a guy making it to F1 under twenty-three was the exception, not the rule.  Twenty years ago, twenty-five or twenty-six was the typical entry level for an F1 driver if you worked your way up the ranks (Formula Ford, Vauxhall Lotus or Renault, F3, F3000, etc).  With the demise of great breeder series like Vauxhall Lotus and the introduction of GP2 and GP3 that seemed to have undercut the rungs up the F1 ladder, there route from top to bottom is a swift one.  

What prompted this concern is that Sauber look set to offer Russian eighteen year old Sergey Sirotkin a seat next year. Yes, this deal seems in part to secure Sauber’s financial future, but ignoring that factor, the age of an F1 driver is dropping and I find that sad.  Now, I’m not bashing Sergey per se or because he's young.  He could be lightning in a jar, but what concerns me is what kind of drivers are we getting in F1.  I want the best and part of being the best is experience and the fast tracking of drivers to F1 before their time doesn’t seem the best thing.  Also I miss watching drivers learning their craft and making their way up the ranks. 


I guess I don’t F1 turning into a spectacle of raw talent.  I want to see some guys who’ve been around the block and know a thing or two out there.  Does this seem reasonable—or am I just getting old?  :-)

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