Last weekend’s thrilling Brazilian Grand Prix saw an 11-year-old record broken, marking a key moment in the sport’s history as youth continue to take over – the youngest-ever podium.
In a sign the times are changing, with teams now gambling on youth, three of the youngest drivers on the grid filled the top three positions at Interlagos, all drivers aged 25 or less.
Brazil race winner Max Verstappen holds – and may forever hold – the gong as Formula 1’s youngest-ever race-winner when he crossed the line at Barcelona in 2016 as an 18-year-old.
The Dutchman – who claimed an eighth career win – holds numerous other ‘youngest’ records, and is now top of the tree when it comes to the youngest-ever podium.
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The previous record was set back in 2008 at a soggy Monza when Sebastian Vettel dominated a rain-affected Italian Grand Prix to register Toro Rosso’s first – and to date, only – win.
Vettel has added 53 wins and four world titles since, and that day, shared the podium with Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) and Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber). The trio combined for an average age of 23 years, 11 months and 16 days.
Last weekend’s podium of winner Verstappen, Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz broke new ground with an average age of 23 years, eight months and 23 days.
The 2008 record would have remained had third-placed man – and relative old-timer at 34 – Lewis Hamilton not been relegated to seventh for an incident with Alex Albon.
Sainz was promoted to the rostrum, taking his first F1 podium and McLaren’s first for over five years. It was also Gasly’s maiden podium, which he regarded as the “best day of my life”.
One record that will almost certainly never be broken is the oldest-ever podium, set at the 1950 Swiss Grand Prix. That day, Nino Farina, Luigi Fagioli and Louis Rosier put down an average age of 46 years, eight months and 20 days.
To put that into perspective, that is over six years older than Kimi Raikkonen, who turned 40 last month, and is the oldest current driver on the grid.
This season also featured what is now the third-youngest podium after 22-year-old Verstappen defeated 22-year-old Charles Leclerc to the win in Austria back in June.
Valtteri Bottas, who finished third at the Red Bull Ring, was two months out from his 30th birthday, and could quietly revel in being a twenty-something alongside the embryos with him on the podium.