The FIA, in their infinite wisdom, changed the rules about the minimum age of drivers as soon as Max Verstappen got a super licence. This was, of course, the right and proper thing to do. No 18 year old should be an F1 driver, they’ll be dangerous and erratic as they will mainly be thinking about Pokemon and their constant erections.
But Max has gone and done the unthinkable and made the FIA look foolish, coming in and winning a race at this level shouldn’t be possible. So how has it happened?
One of the flaws of the modern F1 era is the sport is so safe, the drivers so well enumerated and the testing so limited that they outstay their welcome. Felipe Massa is a lovely man I’m sure, but 2008 was his chance and if we keep saying about how his reaction was the epitome of dignified sportsmanship then let’s update this by saying the most dignified thing he could do right now is quit, not turn up for work in Monaco, go and retire and wonder where his erection went.
Ricardo Patrese, Rubens Barrichello, Michele Alboreto, Andrea De Cesaris, Adrian Sutil, Jarno Trulli, are all names of drivers who, let’s face it, would struggle to get a statue built in their hometown. There are exciting drivers trying to break into F1 but they can’t because it’s all clogged up. Jenson Button started his first F1 race when Max Verstappen was three years old. In F1 terms he’s an old git, a has been, shitting himself in a care home whilst his family doesn’t visit.
But, I hear you yell, we need famous drivers, we need history, we don’t want a bunch of Max Chiltons every year -you’re not suggesting a Maximum age, are you?
No, I’m not. As a 37 year old I don’t want my own sweeping recommendations to be the thing that gets in the way of a chance if a big team comes knocking. But something has to be done!
But don’t worry, I have a solution
No minimum or maximum ages. But a maximum tenure in F1.
You can have ten seasons. That’s your lot. That would sharpen a lot of the hasbeens up and also stop the ludicrousness of both Button and Barrichello in recent years doing the last race of a season with no real idea if it was a last race or not.
If you’re an Alonso finding yourself in an uncompetitive Ferrari in 2010 with one year left of your decade you take a sabbatical - let someone young in the car until you come back for your big grand final year!
If this came in this year we’d be done with Kimi, Jenson, Fernando and Rosberg. Lewis Hamilton would be in his final swansong year.
God, Rosberg did exactly ten years. I finally respect him.