Who's the youngest F1 driver?
There's always a lot of debate about how one driver's career compares to others in Formula 1. One of the most popular debates today in social media is how much a driver like Max Verstappen has achieved at his young age (24 years of age), while others prefer to take into consideration the time any driver has in the sport rather than, well... on earth.
The fact that Max Verstappen was crowned a World Champion at 24 years of age is well applauded by many, while others have criticised the fact that he won the title in his seventh F1 season, while champions like Lewis Hamilton won in his second season, or Michael Schumacher (who won it in his third full season in the sport).
Whether age or experience should be considered when comparing drivers seems to be a bit of a subjective thing, a debate could certainly be better when we consider all aspects of a situation and fully understand the context. Still, age is a big topic in many sports' leagues. You'll often hear about Lionel Messi's footballing achievements by the age of 25, or what Cristiano Ronaldo achieved after turning 30, or LeBron James being the youngest player ever to reach every thousand milestones from 1000 to 36000 points. It will always depend on what is in the eye of the beholder.
Youngest ever F1 driver
In Formula 1's case, age seems to matter, especially the F1 records of the 'youngest' to reach a certain goal. Max Verstappen is the youngest driver to ever compete in a Grand Prix. He made his true Formula 1 debut at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix for the Scuderia Toro Rosso on March 15th, 2015 at 17 years, 166 days. Before Verstappen, Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari held the record for the youngest ever to race in F1, at 19 years and 125 days when he drove for Toro Rosso in the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.
After Verstappen, Lance Stroll (2017) and Lando Norris (2019) broke Alguersuari's mark as well.
Verstappen being the youngest ever to race is a fact that will not change in the upcoming years, as drivers are now required to be 18 years of age or older to enter the sport. That rule could certainly be scrapped in the future, but it seems to be a safe 'record' at the moment. In terms of the 2022 Formula 1 grid of drivers, the youngest is AlphaTauri's Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda.
Youngest driver of 2022 F1 season
Tsunoda, who made his debut in 2021, will be 21 years, 10 months, and 10 days of age on March 20th, when the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix will take place. Tsunoda is, so far, the only Formula 1 driver born in the 2000s. He was born on May 11th, 2000 in Sagamihara, Japan. At the other end of the spectrum, Fernando Alonso will be the oldest driver on the 2022 grid. The 2005 and 2006 F1 champion, who was once the youngest champion ever (from 2005 to 2008), will turn 41 years of age on July 29th.
Lewis Hamilton, who turned 37 years old on January 7th, will be the second-oldest racer on the 2022 Formula 1 season.
The season starts with the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 20th.
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