Formula 1 2019: How experienced is each team?
The shake-up in the Formula 1 grid for 2019 means eight teams head into the new campaign with tweaked or entirely overhauled driver line-ups.
A total of 15 nationalities are represented, there are four full-time rookies, and two returnees, while nine of the 10 teams have a podium finisher among their ranks.
But which team has the experience, and which teams have a youthful pairing? Motorsport Week takes a look at some of the stats.
NB: Average age correct as of race day for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix
Average age: 31 years, 10 months, 13 days | Grand Prix starts: 347
Mercedes has the second-oldest average line-up courtesy of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, with both now firmly established on the Formula 1 grid. Hamilton has already set a record for consecutive starts, which stands at a still-ongoing 229, while Bottas has amassed 118 starts since debuting for Williams in 2013.
Average age: 26 years, 6 months, 24 days | Grand Prix starts: 240
The arrival of Charles Leclerc at Ferrari has drastically lowered Ferrari’s average compared to its previous pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Vettel is 10 years Leclerc’s senior and has amassed almost 200 more starts than his new team-mate, who is entering his sophomore campaign.
Average age: 22 years, 3 months, 14 days | Grand Prix starts: 107
Red Bull has typically turned to youth in Formula 1 and 2019 is no different, with Pierre Gasly recruited to replace Daniel Ricciardo, forming the second-youngest line-up on the grid. Gasly is two years older than Verstappen but the Dutchman’s early rise means he has already started 81 races to the 26 of Gasly.
Average age: 30 years, 7 months, 23 days | Grand Prix starts: 306
Renault is striving to emerge as a title contender long-term and it is doing so with an experienced driver partnership. New recruit Daniel Ricciardo celebrated his 150th race at last year’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, six shy of Nico Hulkenberg’s tally, meaning between them they’ve done 306 races, second only to Mercedes’ pairing.
Average age: 29 years, 8 months, 6 days | Grand Prix starts: 224
Haas is another midfield team with a relatively experienced line-up. Romain Grosjean is approaching his 150th Grand Prix, and has outlined his desire to continue in the sport for several years, while Kevin Magnussen is set to rack up a century of starts this year. Between them they've reached 224 starts, just shy of power unit partner Ferrari's 240.
Average age: 21 years, 11 months, 10 days | Grand Prix starts: 81
McLaren has gone youthful for 2019, with its driver partnership the youngest on the grid, courtesy of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris, the Briton born just a month-and-half before the start of the millennium. Sainz Jr.’s four full years in Formula 1 nonetheless means that in terms of race starts McLaren is not quite at the back of that particular table.
Average age: 24 years, 9 months, 4 days | Grand Prix starts: 196
Racing Point retains Sergio Perez and he has a new team-mate in the form of Lance Stroll, son of owner Lawrence Stroll. It’s firmly middle-of-the-road in both average age and race starts, coming sixth in the respective tables, though Perez is nine years and over 100 starts up on Stroll.
Average age: 32 years, 4 months, 3 days | Grand Prix starts: 294
The presence of veteran Raikkonen means Alfa Romeo has the oldest average line-up, with the Finn – set to turn 40 in October – partnering two-time race-starter Antonio Giovinazzi, who turned 25 shortly before Christmas. It’s the largest gap between team-mates in terms of both age (14 years) and experience (290 starts).
Average age: 23 years, 11 months, 8 days | Grand Prix starts: 72
Toro Rosso may be Red Bull’s junior team but its average age is older than that of the senior team’s pairing, with McLaren also sneaking in below. But when it comes to race starts it’s at the least experienced end of the spectrum, with Daniil Kvyat on 72 and Alexander Albon yet to even sample Formula 1 machinery.
Average age: 27 years, 8 months, 5 days | Grand Prix starts: 76
Robert Kubica’s long injury lay-off means he raises the average age of Williams’ line-up beyond what would normally be expected of someone with ‘only’ 76 starts to their name. Russell, meanwhile, is one of three drivers – along with Norris and Albon – yet to line up on a Formula 1 grid.