“Old is gold”, well this was rightly said, but now “Young is the better gold” seems to be more appropriate.
In the earlier years, F1 was run by the experienced and the old guys. More the experience, the better u were was the common ideology among people. The young guns would only get to watch the races. But as years and time passed, the young lads began driving cars and were given crucial responsibilities.
Well this shift is clearly visible now. The current F1 2011 season features 90% of the drivers under the age of 30.These youngsters win various racing championship series like GP2; DTM etc before they prove worthful of driving in F1.Some of them have grown and struggled alone, whereas most of them are introduced by various training schools.
Companies like McLaren etc have already well established driver training programmes similar to the ones by the football clubs. These driver trainings select kids around the age of four. These tots are given financial backup and vigorous training. They are then taken to various racing series starting from go karts, and their progress and performance are evaluated throughout the year. As they grow, they are given opportunities to participate in more popular series like the Formula ford, F3 etc.
As they reach their 20’s they are already familiar faces in the international motorsports community. Many of them would have grabbed test driver positions in various F1 teams also. And within a couple of years ,they are fighting on prestigious tracks like Monaco, Spa etc and challenging the oldies still left hanging in the field of f1.
Many of the picks by different teams have proved very fruitful. Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian vettel etc who have won the championships have grown by similar programmes. They have already inspired teens around the world to pursue their passion.
Now why are these young ones selected and why do the teams press on investing money and start various training schools?
If u look at the young drivers in f1, all of them are charged up and greedy to score points and make their way up in the field. They are filled with energy and keep pushing till the chequered flag wavers over their head .This “Do or Die “attitude is what teams are looking for. The teams would prefer drivers with this characteristic than the older drivers like Webber, Raikonnen who have varying moods throughout the race and needs continuous motivation. Moreover, as these drivers are trained right from their young ages, they are loyal to the team that back them and do not demand extra salaries or benefits.
But some of them have turned brats and caused trouble in the pits.Morever these youngsters might not be able to give a detailed feedback about the car’s performance to the team engineers as the experienced drivers. Feedback is very essential and plays the key role to reach greater heights.
But the ever changing rules look to be in favor of younger drivers as these new rules bring the experienced drivers in the same court as the younger ones. Hope the old experienced drivers pull their socks up and race harder so that they survive in a F1 filled with youths.