The youngest F1 podiums: Brazil 2019 sets a new standard

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly thinks he is “a better driver” now than when he was at Red Bull – and that it would give him a “chance” in the same car again as Max Verstappen.

At 22, 23 and 25, Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz now head the list of the youngest F1 podiums after finishing in the top three at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Although Lewis Hamilton crossed the line in third place, joining the Honda-powered drivers on the podium, he was later slapped with a five-second penalty for causing a collision.

He dropped to seventh while McLaren’s Sainz added his name to the list of first time podium finishers along with Gasly.

The Brazilian result broke the youngest podium record set back in 2008 by Sebastian Vettel, Heikki Kovalainen and Robert Kubica.

PlanetF1 looks at F1’s five youngest podiums.

5. 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix – 24 years, 7 months, 12 days

Having signed with Renault for his second season in Formula 1, Fernando Alonso claimed pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard was in a league of his own around the revamped Hungaroring, leading by as much as 24s before coming in for his second pit stop.

His gap to Kimi Raikkonen meant he pitted from P1 and rejoined in the lead.

Alonso raced to a comfortable win ahead of the Finn, who was with McLaren, and in doing so became – at the time – the youngest ever driver to win a grand prix.

Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya finished third, making for the fifth youngest podium in F1 history.

4. 2008 German Grand Prix – 24 years, 7 months, 1 day

Lewis Hamilton raced to victory at the 2008 German GP, overcoming a strategy error from McLaren to beat Nelson Piquet Jr.

Hamilton was dominating at the Hockenheimring before a Safety Car threw his strategy into chaos.

McLaren didn’t pit him at the time even though his rivals stopped.

That meant Hamilton had to pit under green, dropping from first to fifth.

The Brit carved his way back through the field to take the chequered flag ahead of the one-stopping Piquet Jr.

They were joined on the podium by Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.


3. 2019 Austrian Grand Prix – 24 years, 5 months, 13 days

After years of Lewis Hamilton versus Sebastian Vettel, the future championship protagonists took centre stage at this year’s Austrian Grand Prix.

As a heatwave swept through Europe, Mercedes found themselves on the back foot, leaving it to Red Bull and Ferrari to fight for the win.

More to the point: Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc looked to be cruising to the win, storming ahead in his SF90 only for Verstappen to put in a late charge.

The youngsters went wheel-to-wheel before Verstappen made his race-winning move, giving Leclerc a little shove off the track as he overtook him for the lead.

Verstappen raced to the victory with Leclerc second.

Both 21 at the time, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas – 29 at the time – raised the average age as he claimed third place.

2. 2008 Italian Grand Prix – 23 years, 11 months, 16 days

Sebastian Vettel made history at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, not only becoming Formula 1’s youngest-ever winner at the time – breaking Alonso’s record set at the 2003 Hungarian GP, but he also claimed what still stands as Toro Rosso’s only grand prix victory.

Vettel secured pole position in the rain on the Saturday, joined on the front row by McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen.

Conditions were similar at the start of the Monza race, prompting Race Control to begin proceedings behind the Safety Car.

The Safety Car pulled in at the end of Lap 2 and Vettel led into the first corner.

As the pit stops played out and the drivers swapped their full wet tyres for intermediates, Vettel continued to cycle back to the front to take the victory by 12s ahead of Kovalainen.

At 21 years, 73 days, he became the youngest race winner, a record he lost to Max Verstappen in 2016.

Robert Kubica used a one-stop strategy to work his way onto the podium for BMW-Sauber.

1. 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix – 23 years, 8 months, 23 days

22-year-old Max Verstappen passed reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton twice out on track to win the Brazilian Grand Prix ahead of his former team-mate Pierre Gasly.

At 23 years, 9 months and 10 days Gasly secured his maiden podium result as the Toro Rosso driver crossed the line in second place.

He took full advantage of the chaos in the final few laps to work his way up to P2, taking the chequered flag 0.6s ahead of Hamilton.

The Mercedes driver crossed the line in third place but was later penalised five seconds for crashing into Alexander Albon as he tried to take a position off the Red Bull driver.

Hamilton’s penalty meant Carlos Sainz was promoted to the podium.

But while the McLaren driver may have missed the initial celebration, they later made up for it.

With a combined age of less than 24; Verstappen the youngest at 22 and Sainz the oldest at 25; Sunday’s podium at the Interlagos circuit was a snapshot of Formula 1’s future.

And what a future it could be!

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