June 16, 2024

Half of the Drivers in Formula 1 Have Shown They Lack the Skill to Compete

Image: Red Bull Racing

There is a severe lack of proficiency among the current Formula 1 lineup, and it has become increasingly distressing that there are no opportunities for the talented young drivers climbing the ranks in open-wheel racing. Many of the participants from the junior series are being redirected to IndyCar, endurance racing, Formula E, or sent to Japan to compete in Super Formula. While all these series benefit from having top-notch racers on the track, these young talents deserved a chance in F1 but were overlooked while Sergio Pérez somehow secured seventeen seasons of average performance.

Red Bull is the primary source of my frustration when it comes to how they treat young drivers. Despite fielding four cars on the grid, the team is unwilling to take risks with its driver lineup. While the energy drink company boasts about its junior driver development program, they haven’t promoted anyone to the top level since Yuki Tsunoda in 2021. The team quickly abandons young talent after a challenging season, yet they are quick to hire an aging Daniel Ricciardo after a year out of the sport. It’s truly perplexing.

After eight races this year, nine full-time drivers have accumulated fewer points than Oliver Bearman, who filled in for an injured Carlos Sainz for just one race. While many of them are in subpar cars that wouldn’t achieve a win even with a champion behind the wheel, you would expect them to stumble into some points along the way.

Looking at the current grid, with an average age of 30 which is old for F1, it’s disheartening to think about all the young drivers who have missed out on a chance at an F1 title because the veterans refuse to retire, and the wealthy individuals can’t see that they lack the talent to justify their continued presence. Oliver Bearman, Liam Lawson, Felipe Drugovich, Theo Pourchaire, and possibly even Mick Schumacher have all been unfairly treated because the older drivers keep getting contract extensions. There is no justification for choosing Gasly, Ocon, Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Perez, Bottas, or Ricciardo over them.

It’s time to give the younger generation a chance.


Q: Is Formula 1 open to new and young talent?

A: The current situation in Formula 1 shows a lack of opportunities for talented young drivers, who often have to seek other racing series to showcase their skills.

Q: Why do veteran drivers continue to dominate Formula 1?

A: The tendency to retain older drivers in Formula 1 can hinder the progress of younger, potentially more skilled drivers who are unable to break into the sport.


It is evident that there is a significant issue with the current Formula 1 grid in terms of opportunities for young talent. The sport should prioritize giving younger drivers a chance to prove themselves and showcase their skills at the highest level. Changes need to be made to ensure a more diverse and competitive field in Formula 1.

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