Sebastian Vettel says he will not dwell on seeing his record as the youngest race winner in F1 fall to Max Verstappen, adding the strength in depth of F1 means age no longer matters.
Vettel famously became the youngest driver to win an F1 race aged just 21 years and 73 days when he triumphed unexpectedly in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix with Toro Rosso, but his landmark was smashed during the most recent Spanish Grand Prix when Max Verstappen clinched victory aged just 18 years and 228 days.
Little more than a year after Verstappen made his high-profile F1 debut aged just 17, making him the youngest person to both start and score in an F1 race, his victory – on his debut as a Red Bull Racing driver – is being viewed as testament to the quality of a new generation.
However, though Vettel is complimentary to the achievements of the Dutchman, he says insists such a matter works the other way, pointing out that age is irrelevant if you are fast enough behind the wheel.
“Records are there to be broken,” the Ferrari driver said. “I was so excited when I won my first race that I didn't care if I was twenty or 25 or whatever age, I don't think it matters [about age]. If you're quick enough you belong here and then as soon as you are you belong here and as long as you are you belong here so I don't think it matters whether you're 18 or... I think Michael kept racing until he was 43?
“I met Stirling Moss a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately he only raced until his thirties but I think he was there to race until his fifties. Obviously cars these days are a bit easier to drive than when I started but still I think there's nothing that speaks against...
“I don't know how old Kimi Raikkonen is actually but 35 year old to keep fit and to drive these cars if you're still quick enough, you're still young enough, so that's the bottom line.”