There’s a youth movement underway in today’s Formula One, but the historic title of F1’s youngest Grand Prix drivers includes several from the annals as well. Part of F1A&G’s Top Sixes feature-in-progress.
|Six Youngest Grand Prix Drivers|
|1||Jaime Alguersuari||2009-Hungary||19Yr, 125Dy|
|2||Mike Thackwell||1980-Canada||19Yr, 179Dy|
|3||Ricardo Rodriguez||1961-Italy||19Yr, 207Dy|
|4||Fernando Alonso||2001-Australia||19Yr, 213Dy|
|5||Esteban Tuero||1998-Australia||19Yr, 314Dy|
|6||Chris Amon||1963-Belgium||19Yr, 320Dy|
Where driving talent is concerned, these days it can burgeon at an indecently young age through the highly competitive ranks of karting. Despite this, three of the six youngest drivers to start a Formula One GP raced their first 30 or more years ago. Sometimes these starts are inauspicious, at best. Thackwell collided with his teammate in 1980 and retired at the first corner. Alguersuari qualified dead last and finished just one place above the DNFs, having passed his Toro Rosso teammate. Alonso, on the other hand, qualified 19th and finished 12th for Minardi — although he was next-to-last on the track, ahead only of Giancarlo Fisichella’s Renault. Others, like Sebastian Vettel (No. 7 all time), fared a tad better (Q7, P8 for Sauber).
Update: The record for youngest Formula One driver has been reset twice since this post, by Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen, respectively. See 6 Youngest F1 Drivers | F1A&G.