Saturday 24 February 2018

Vettel warns Sirotkin he's too young for Formula 1

Ian Parkes

The driver who holds most of Formula One's age records has raised doubts over the potential arrival of someone who could become the youngest to make his debut in the sport.

As part of an agreement announced last week by Sauber with three Russian companies who have helped save the Swiss team, 17-year-old Sergey Sirotkin is to be handed a race seat next season.

Sirotkin turns 18 next month but, even then, should he line up on the grid for the opening race of 2014 he will still claim the record as the youngest driver in F1 history by 10 months.

Currently competing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, it is fair to say Sirotkin's single-seater career to date is hardly inspiring.

CATAPULTED

Yet with father Oleg the man behind one of the trio of companies, his son will suddenly find himself catapulted into F1, providing he can initially acquire the necessary super licence.

Current world champion Sebastian Vettel, who is the youngest to participate in an official practice session at 19 years and 53 days – although did not go on to make his race debut for another 10 months – at least had a strong background prior to making the leap into F1.

And with regards to Sirotkin, Vettel said: "When you are young we are all in the same position – you dream about Formula One and you want to race, no matter what.

"But things can come too early for you. If I look back I was probably just on the edge, but now it is easy to say that.

Lewis Hamilton put Sirotkin's situation into perspective when he said: "I wasn't ready at 18 and I was pretty good at 18."

Irish Independent

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