Sainz takes confidence from Raikkonen's win even at 39-years
Renault's Carlos Sainz believes Kimi Raikkonen's win in US GP is a prime example to showcase that drivers can be successful at the fag end of their career too.
After more than five years of wait, Raikkonen finally took the top step of the podium in Austin last weekend to become the 13th oldest driver to win a F1 race at 39-years of age which has instill confidence in the younger drivers.
Sainz felt at peace to see the Finn take the win. "It gives me a lot of tranquility to see that a guy that is 39 years old can win in Formula 1," he said. There’s a lot of time ahead for many of us and seeing Kimi winning last weekend also showed that Formula 1 is one of those sports where you can be successful at a later age."
The Spaniard along with his fellow rivals agreed to the notion that experience does help a driver achieve better results as the career goes on. "Experience helps you a lot to get to know yourself, how to extract the maximum potential of yourself, within a team and within a car, within a set-up. With more experience, the faster you get."
Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen said he hasn't stopped learning as he feels the more experience he has, the faster he will get. At the same time, Racing Point Force India's Sergio Perez believes experience also helps in giving their team a direction.
"I think experience helps in how you can direct a team, how you can build it around you, how much progress you can make with your car, with the set-up," he said. "I think experience really helps and makes a difference.
"I think it’s definitely a good bonus. [It is also true that] you get to a point where nothing really changes. Your speed and a bit of experience always helps as well." Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly reckons maturity is key irrespective of the age.
"I think, for sure, age is probably not that important – maturity is the main thing. For sure, the experience is useful," he said. "I’m only in my first complete season and I don’t know how I’m going to be after five years.
"But I can feel already the difference now, compared to a year ago when I came in Malaysia for my first race, so you just get more confidence, you know how things work. Probably after four or five years things become a bit more automatic.
"I’ll see that in the future." The most experienced of the lot, Raikkonen feels the sport doesn't require heavy amount of experience in the sense that drivers in a year or two gets used to the environment and also all the variable factors.
He thinks F1 is not like rally where experience is needed with the different types of circuits. "I don’t know if it’s helping or harming but it seems to be working still OK," he said. "I guess a certain amount of experience helps, that’s for sure.
"But I think in this sport it’s not probably that necessary to have a massive amount, because you can do a lot of things on simulators. We are doing basically the same tracks. If it’s 5 kilometres, or four, or whatever it is, we are all going to learn it.
"It’s not like 10 million miles will help more than the shorter distances. In rally it helps a lot more, the experience, but I think for me it’s helpful. I feel better, for sure, than when I started, in the first year. But I guess there is a certain points when it doesn’t make such a big difference anymore."
[Note; This story was also written by me on Formula Rapida]