With the passing of the seasons, as in other sports and categories, Formula 1 has undergone a process of rejuvenation of its participants, reaching the point of establishing a rule that does not allow drivers under 18 years of age to compete in a great prize.
The only one in history to be present on the grid of a race as a minor was Max Verstappen, as he took the controls of a Toro Rosso at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, at just 17 years and 166 days .
That is far from the middle ages that made up the Great Circus at the beginning of the highest category of motorsports. In 1950, when adding up all the participants, a figure greater than 37 years on average was reached. In the first round of Formula 1 history at Silverstone, Geoff Crossley was the youngest driver, aged 29 years and 2 days , while the oldest was Philippe Etancelin , aged 53 years and 135 days .
Throughout that decade, the average went down until reaching 34.3 years , a number that is still much higher than the last period of ten seasons, which stands at just 27.4 years . Over time, the demands of the single-seaters grew, and with it, the youngest could endure with an improved physique, something that can be seen with the average 31-year -old in the 1960s.
In the next step, from 1970 to 1979, the average was only lowered by six months, that is, an age of 30.5 years was achieved, something that was repeated to the same extent in the 1980s, when the barrier of thirty and passed at 29.9 years on average.
Something similar happens in the 1990s, since it is progressively lowered until it reaches 29.2 years on average on the grid, but, without a doubt, the biggest jump occurs with the entry of the new millennium, since it goes directly to the 28 years on average, product of the arrival of very young drivers with the early retirement of other members of Formula 1.
The last decade in which a representative sample can be selected is 2010, where, with the exception of 2012, when very old drivers were on the grid, such as Michael Schumacher [43 years old], Pedro de la Rosa [41 years old] or Narain Karthikeyan [35 years old], the average is about 27.4 years old .
With this progress you can see how Formula 1 has changed, from a sport in which physique mattered little to a category destined for elite athletes in which each year that is added to the count on the stopwatch, although it is not uncommon see cases that are beyond logic, such as Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton, who continue at the highest level with their 40th birthday or very close to them.
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