Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has warned that F1 rookies getting younger and younger is bringing down the "shelf life" of the sport's current stars.
When championship leader Max Verstappen made his debut in 2015, the Dutchman was just 17 years and 166 days old.
This is a record that remains unbroken but although the grid features three drivers over the age of 35 [Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso], there are 11 drivers aged 25 or younger, including both rookie Haas drivers.
"They start karting very young and that’s here to stay," said Steiner. "Your reflexes are better when you’re young, your motivation is higher, and I think it’s good for the sport to have young people coming along.
"That’s nothing against older guys, so they shouldn’t be upset with me about it, but we all have a shelf life. I think that shelf life stays the same, it just starts younger and ends younger now.”
AlphaTauri rookie Yuki Tsunoda is the youngest driver on the grid at 21-years-old but of the current line-up, four drivers made their debuts as teenagers - Verstappen, Lando Norris, Lance Stroll and now-39-year-old Alonso.
Steiner added: “These days the drivers come in younger anyway, not just now but probably from the last few years or so the drivers have been entering Formula 1 younger than the old days. It’s a trend.
"Obviously, they get older quicker – or they get older younger, I would say."
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