Formula One

F1 Drivers Age – How Old Are F1 Drivers?

Formula 1 drivers
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Formula 1 has no age limit. From fresh faced teenagers to weathered veterans, the F1 grid has seen a wide range of ages, and drivers have proven time and time again that age is just a number.  

How old is the current grid? 

The average age of the current Formula 1 grid is 26.85, with the most common ages being 22 and 23. 13 of the 20 current F1 drivers were born in the 1990’s, just three were born in the 2000’s, and four were born in the 1980’s.   

The age of each Formula 1 driver, from youngest to oldest 

We saw what is the average age for Formula 1 drivers, but now let’s take a closer look at the age of each F1 driver, starting with the youngsters and finishing strong with the veterans of the sport.

Oscar Piastri | McLaren – Age 22, born on 06/04/2001 

Oscar Piastri
Batchelor / XPB Images – Photo by Icon sport

Piastri is the youngest member of the Formula 1 grid and the first and only driver born in 2001 and the only driver born in April. As he has only just joined the grid, this is the Australian’s first year in the series, and he is one of the three rookies on the track. He began his career in F1 aged 21, after a year in Formula 2, which he won in style.  

Logan Sargeant | Williams – Age 22, born on 31/12/2000 

Just barely born in the year 2000, Sargeant is facing his first season in Formula 1 after an impressive rookie year in Formula 2. He started his career in motorsports aged just 8 in the Rotax Micro Class Go-Karting series in America and continued to race in karts until the age of 16. He is the only driver on the grid to be born in December and is the first of two drivers to be born in 2000. 

Yuki Tsunoda | AlphaTauri – Age 22, born on 11/05/2000

Tsunoda became the first driver born in the 2000’s to race in Formula 1 in 2021 after being promoted from the Red Bull academy. It was a rough start to F1 as a 20-year-old, after an emphatic third place finish in the 2019 Formula 2 driver standings. He began his motorsports career aged 10 in Japan and made it into Formula 4 at the age of 15.  

Lando Norris | McLaren – Age 23, born on 13/9/1999 

Perhaps one of the most exciting talents on the Formula 1 grid, Norris has already become accustomed to breaking records with his age. He became the third youngest driver to race in F1, aged 19, he raced 19 times before his 20th birthday. He is also the fourth youngest podium sitter in the series after the 2020 Austrian grand prix, aged 20. Britain’s youngest ever Formula 1 driver started his motorsport career off aged seven, after a brief stint with quad bikes. 

Zhou Guanyu | Alfa Romeo – Age 23, born on 30/5/1999

The first Chinese driver to race in Formula 1 joined the fray last season and is the last driver on the grid to be born in the 1990’s. His racing journey began in 2007, aged 8, before moving to Sheffield of all places to pursue a career in F1. He moved to Formula 3 in 2016, aged 17, and faced three challenging years before moving up to Formula 2.  

 Lance Stroll | Aston Martin – Age 24, born on 29/9/1998

Stroll became the second youngest driver to ever race in Formula 1 in 2017, aged 18 after being given a seat at Williams. He went on to become the second youngest driver to earn an F1 podium in the same season, still aged 18, at the Azerbaijan grand prix – his eighth race in the series. The Canadian began racing in 2008 and became a member of the Ferrari driving academy, aged just 10.  

George Russell | Mercedes – Age 25, born on 15/2/1998

The Brit joined the Formula 1 grid in 2019, aged 21 on a multiyear deal with Williams. He made the move to the F1 grid after becoming the fifth driver to win Formula 2 as a rookie, with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, aged just 19. He started karting aged eight and eventually made his way into Formula Renault 2.0 in 2014, at the age of 16. Russell’s first race win was at the 2022 Sau Paulo grand prix last season. 

Charles Leclerc | Ferrari – Age 25, born on 16/9/1997

Monaco has become synonymous with Formula 1, and Leclerc is the country’s biggest star. He first raced in the series in 2018, aged 21, with Sauber and moved to his current home at Ferrari the following year. He began dominating the Go-Karting scene in 2005, at the age of seven, and moved into his first single seater series in 2014 with Formula Renault. Leclerc’s first race win was at the 2019 Belgian grand prix, aged 22.  

Max Verstappen | Red Bull – Age 25, born on 30/8/1997

Max Verstappen
Photo by Icon sport

Verstappen is one of the faces of Formula 1, and the current world champion already has a hat full of records to his name. The dutchman is the youngest driver to ever race in the series, at the astonishing age of 17, and he is also the youngest race winner after winning the 2016 Spanish grand prix, aged 18. He is the second youngest driver to win a driver’s championship, after Sebastian Vettel, at the age of 23 and the second youngest double driver’s champion after Vettel. He famously began his racing career with his father Jos Verstappen, a former F1 driver, at the age of six and even managed to skip the Formula 2 series.  

Esteban Ocon | Alpine – Age 26, born on 17/8/1996

Ocon was once a highly promising driver in Formula 1, and he was a part of the Mercedes driver academy. He sits one place below Ayrton Senna for the youngest podium sitters in Formula 1, in 38th, after finishing third at the 2020 Sakhir grand prix. He began racing in 2006, against archrival turned teammate Pierre Gasly, at the age of 10. However, it took him a season longer to move into Formula Renault, which he did in 2012, aged 16.   

Alex Albon | Williams – Age 27, born on 23/3/1996

The Thai-British driver first raced in Formula 1 in the 2019 season, aged 23. He earned a move to Red Bull’s sister team after an impressive third place finish in the 2018 Formula 2 campaign, behind Lando Norris and George Russell. He started racing in 2005, at eight, and eventually moved into Formula Renault 2.0 in 2012, aged 16. His first podium came at the 2020 Tuscany grand prix, aged 24.  

Pierre Gasly | Alpine – Age 27, born on 7/3/1996

The Frenchman is currently the 29th youngest Formula 1 podium sitter thanks to a second-place finish at the 2019 Sau Paulo grand prix. He first entered the series in 2017 with Toro Rosso, aged 21, with the Red Bull driver academy – which he has only just left for this season. He began racing karts at 10 in 2006 and eventually went to Formula Renault in 2011, aged 15. 

 Nyck de Vries | AlphaTauri – Age 28, born on 6/2/1995

A relatively late bloomer to Formula 1, De Vries earned his first full-time seat in the series at the age of 28. He is by far the oldest rookie on the grid, but he has far more experience with three seasons in Formula E and he even won the 2020/21 Formula E championship. He started racing competitively in 2008, aged 12, and made his way to the Formula Renault Euro Cup in 2012 at the late age of 17.  

Carlos Sainz | Ferrari – Age 28, born on 1/8/1994

One of Formula 1’s newest journeymen started his time in the series in 2015 with Toro Rosso. Sainz earned his first F1 podium fairly late compared to other drivers, with the 2019 Sau Paulo grand prix, aged 25. His first victory came last season at the 2022 British grand prix, at the age of 27. The Spaniard started racing early on in life, presumably due to his father’s racing pedigree, and he won his first karting championship in 2008, aged 14. 

Kevin Magnussen | Haas – Age 30, born on 5/9/1992

The youngest member of the oldest team on the grid, the Dane made his Formula 1 debut in 2014 with McLaren and immediately gathered a podium on his first ever race – the first driver to do so since Lewis Hamilton. Magnussen moved up to Formula Ford in 2008, aged 16 after a majorly successful career in karting. He currently sits as the sixth youngest driver in F1 history to earn a podium. 

Sergio Perez | Red Bull – Age 33, born on 26/1/1990

Another legendary journeyman on the grid, the Mexican began racing in Formula 1 in 2011, aged 21, with Sauber. He soon went on to become the 14th youngest driver to record a Formula 1 podium at the 2012 Malaysian grand prix and he won his first race at the 2020 Sakhir grand prix, aged 30. He began karting in Mexico at the age of six in Mexico and he was able to move into Formula 3 in 2007, aged 17. He stands as the first driver to be born in the 1990’s on the current grid. 

Valtteri Bottas | Alfa Romeo – Age 33, born on 28/8/1989

The youngest driver of the 1980’s made his entry into Formula 1 in 2013 with Williams, aged 23. Again, he started relatively late for an F1 driver, but he was soon able to earn his first podium in the 2014 Austrian grand prix, aged 24, in his second year of racing. He began racing in 1995, aged six, after visiting a Go-Karting event in Finland and he then made his way to Formula 3 in 2009, aged 20, another relatively late time to do so.  

Nico Hulkenberg | Haas – Age 35, born on 19/7/1987

The longest serving Formula 1 driver without a podium, started racing in the series in 2010, aged 23. He entered the series as a highly touted and respected young talent and he went on to race in 10 F1 seasons, including the current one. He also started karting at 10 in 1997 in a local championship and later got a seat in Formula BMW for the 2005 season, aged 18.  

Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes – Age 38, born on 7/1/1985

Hamilton has earned more podiums than any other driver with 191, and the first came in his first ever race, aged 22 at the 2007 Australian grand prix. He is currently the 15th youngest driver to take a podium in the series. The seven-time world champion began his dominant karting career in 1993, aged eight, and he has never looked back since. He joined his first Formula Renault series in 2001 at the age of 17 and he moved into GP2 in 2005, aged 21.  

Fernando Alonso | Aston Martin – Age 41, born on 29/6/1981 

Fernando Alonso
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Another legend of Formula 1, the Spaniard has the most appearances in the series and he has also raced for the greatest number of laps. At one point, Alonso became the youngest race winner, youngest pole sitter and the youngest world champion. He entered the series in 2001, before Oscar Piastri was born, aged 20. Since then, he has raced in 17 F1 seasons – the most of any other driver.  

When do Formula 1 drivers start racing? 

 Formula 1 drivers often start karting between the ages of six to 10, where they will continue to race until they reach the ages of 16 or 17. From there, they tend to move into the early feeder series’ for F1. On average, a driver will reach Formula 1 between the ages of 21 or 23.  

At the end of a racing career in the series, modern day drivers tend to ‘hang up the gloves’ in their late 30’s, or until they are left without a seat by their respective teams. Sebastian Vettel retired from racing at the age of 35 – yet the like of Alonso proves that age is just a number. 

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