Schumacher and F1’s oldest ever drivers

Has the old boy got it in him to do another victory leap?

Has the old boy got it in him to do another victory leap?

At 40 years, seven months and 20 days, Michael Schumacher will be the oldest F1 driver to start a Grand Prix in 14 years when he makes his highly-anticipated return at Valencia next month.

But that doesn’t bring him anywhere near the record for an oldest Grand Prix starter. He’ll have to come back in 2024 if he wants to break that…

Oldest F1 race starters

Here are the ten oldest drivers to start a round of the F1 world championship:

1. Louis Chiron, 55y 9m 19d, 1955 Monaco Grand Prix
2. Philippe Etancelin, 55y 6m 8d, 1952 French Grand Prix
3. Arthur Legat, 54y 7m 20d, 1953 Belgian Grand Prix
4. Luigi Fagioli, 53y 22d, 1951 French Grand Prix
5. Adolf Brudes, 52y 9m 19d, 1952 German Grand Prix
6. Hans Stuck, 52y 8m 17d, 1953 Italian Grand Prix
7. Bill Aston, 52y 4m 5d, 1952 German Grand Prix
8. Clemente Biondetti, 52y 16d, 1950 Italian Grand Prix
9. Louis Rosier, 50y 9m, 1956 German Grand Prix
10. Rudolf Schoeller, 50y 3m 7d, 1952 German Grand Prix

Record-holder Chiron, who was born in the 19th century, did make a subsequent attempts to qualify for the further races. His last was in 1958, aged 58, again at Monaco.

It’s plain that in the 1950s Formula 1 racing was the preserve of a much older generation of drivers. At the other end of the scale, last weekend saw the debut of the youngest F1 driver ever, Jaime Alguersuari, less than half Schumacher’s age.

But it’s not as if younger drivers did not also compete. Peter Collins entered the 1952 Swiss Grand Prix at the age of 20 years, six months and ten days. Troy Ruttman was four months younger when he raced in the 1950 Indianapolis 500, then a round of the world championship.

The last driver older than Schumacher to start a race was Nigel Mansell, who was 41 years, nine months and six days old when he made his final, ill-fated appearance for McLaren in Spain in 1995.

Since then Channoch Nissany, a 41 year-old Israeli businessman, bought a Minardi test in 2005.

Oldest champion racers

Schumacher will not even rank among the top 100 oldest F1 drivers of all time. And the record for the oldest Grand Prix winner is a long way out of sight, too: Luigi Fagioli claimed that in the 1951 French Grand Prix, aged 53 years and 22 days.

However Schumacher will be the seventh oldest former champion to start a race:

Giuseppe Farina, 48y 7m 6d, 1953 Belgian Grand Prix
Juan Manuel Fangio, 47y 12d, 1958 French Grand Prix
Graham Hill, 45y 11m 11d, 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix
Jack Brabham, 44y 6m 23d, 1970 Mexican Grand Prix
Mario Andretti, 42y 7m 28d, 1982 USA Grand Prix (Las Vegas)
Nigel Mansel, 41y 9m 6d, 1995 Spanish Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher, 40y 7m 20d, 2009 European Grand Prix*

*Race yet to be run

Read more

Advert | Go Ad-free

99 comments on Schumacher and F1’s oldest ever drivers

  1. mp4-19b said on 31st July 2009, 16:31

    it seems schumi is after some big money :)

    http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/090731095431.shtml

  2. mp4-19 said on 31st July 2009, 17:36

    recently i came across an article in f1 live which confirmed that the renault test driver Romain Grosjean completed straight line testing at runaway of the Duxford Imperial War Museum in Cambridgeshire. now my question is:- are there any officials from the FIA to oversee the test? if not, it might well be possible for teams to test at airport runways on the pretext of straight line testing & do something like this!!!!

    http://www.rfactorcentral.com/screenshots/lge/24-Feb-08-rFactorCentral-9834_LBAirport_loading1.jpg

    you see its very easy to set up a temporary circuit round the runway. this one at Leeds and Bradford Airport is decent enough to test & improve the car. but the important question i’m trying to raise is whether these “straight line” tests are overseen by some FIA official.

    • Bigbadderboom said on 31st July 2009, 17:55

      If it was a Mclaren would you be so suspicious mp4? These are extraordinary circumstances and I am sure that Ferrari will respect the rules, there has been a better atmosphere and respect for rules and regulations recently, Martin Whitmarsh and Luca Montezemolo are both operating much more open teams. The FOTA relationship is very important and at the moment almost self regulates against cheating.
      If I was you mp4, I would get myself a cool drink and look forward to what will be a fantastic second half to the season, and maybe you should concentrate your energies on wishing Lewis and Heiki success as opposed to wishing Ferrari and Schumi failure. We are being given a great opportunity to watch 4 WDC race against eachother in comparativley competitive cars…….Just enjoy it mate!

      • Maksutov said on 31st July 2009, 18:23

        well said. just DO IT MP4!!

        • mp4-19b said on 31st July 2009, 18:41

          I never said anything against ferrari or schumi .All that i’m trying to say is that, any of the current f1 teams, including williams,renault,red bull & mclaren might exploit this loophole in the rule & heavily benefit from it.

          • I never said anything against ferrari or schumi

            you must be joking! :)

            not to mention that you say SO many things that it’s impossible not mentioning something against ferrari or schumi.

            In fact I think you’re Lauda, an old grumpy that should shut up.

      • mp4-19b said on 31st July 2009, 18:46

        its not the question of mclaren or ferrari, in case if it has escaped your notice. i used the word TEAMS,never did i mention ferrari in the above post. It is a loophole if properly exploited, will result in huge performance gain.

    • Martin said on 1st August 2009, 0:53

      Why do you want a FIA official everywhere.
      This is the problem, FIA is into everything and just like the US government, the more they get inot the worse it gets.
      I wouldnt care if Mclaren set up a temp circuit at an airport and tested straight and curved and any other item they wanted to, In fact if I was running a team I would try to do just that. I would build my own curcuit on property I owned and then test whenever I wanted and make it were no one could see it unless I approved.
      If the FIA cam a knockin on the gates I would tell them to leave and that would be the end of it.
      It is great that you are a hugh McLaren fan but get off the beat Ferrari and Schumacher at all cost bit.

  3. F1 Teams’ Association (Fota) members have agreed to let Schumacher test for one day. Is this fair ?

    BBC Article

    • mp4-19b said on 31st July 2009, 17:58

      its a farce,nuff said!!!!!

      • mp4-19b said on 31st July 2009, 18:02

        again teams are forced to break the rules just to accommodate this man!!! if this is the case even jamie must be allowed to test. at least he has a future,unlike the german who’s racing for “fun”.

        • Maksutov said on 31st July 2009, 18:18

          thats what happens when you are one of the greatest drivers F1 has seen :), thats what you get when you are amongst the best, besides FOTA, FIA, and the shareholders realize that money and publicity gained will outweigh any of your concerns..

          F1 is indeed all about fun, and what better way to make F1 more fun eh? and this will be the best fun we fans have had in ages, for as long as no fanatics (hint) do anything stupid, that includes the existing drivers

          I dont understand why you hate that the driver needs to learn the car before he bloody sits in it to race

          • mp4-19b said on 31st July 2009, 18:31

            for as long as no fanatics (hint) do anything stupid

            in case you’ve not noticed this site is called F1FANATIC :)

            I dont understand why you hate that the driver needs to learn the car before he bloody sits in it to race

            if you have a rule it must be the same for everyone. if this is the case, i would like to know why wasn’t poor jamie allowed to test for “atleast” one day like shoe??
            all he did was straight line test on some dumb runway. at the end of the day, schumi & jamie are drivers. why give preference to one over the other? just becoz he’s a star? your argument is weak. sorry :(

          • mp4-19b said on 31st July 2009, 18:34

            for as long as no fanatics (hint) do anything stupid, that includes the existing drivers

            Juan Pablo will be itching to have a go!! :)

          • Maksutov said on 1st August 2009, 12:17

            @mp4

            if you have a rule it must be the same for everyone. if this is the case, i would like to know why wasn’t poor jamie allowed to test for “atleast” one day like shoe??
            all he did was straight line test on some dumb runway. at the end of the day, schumi & jamie are drivers. why give preference to one over the other? just becoz he’s a star? your argument is weak. sorry :(

            I actually dont have an argument on that. As a matter in fact I actually agree with that, and think they should lift the test ban for all during this period. I’ve actually stated that in another message below. But I reiterate that a driver who has not sat in a car for 2 years should get the chance to do a few laps before the race. And as we can see Schumi was able to drive consistently even after 2 laps in Muggelo with the 2007 so its not like he needs any special treatment

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st August 2009, 12:22

            I think it just comes down to the fact Toro Rosso were replacing Bourdais and bringing in Alguersuari – who obviously has very little ecperience – of their own choosing, whereas Ferrari are replacing Massa because he’s injured and can’t drive.

            Additionally, it’s possible it never occurred to Toro Rosso to ask the other teams if Alguersuari could test. Or perhaps they asked and it was refused and we never heard.

    • Bigbadderboom said on 31st July 2009, 18:01

      Absolutely fair, extraordinary circumstances require a realistic view. Fota realise this, the testing ban was not introduced for this reason, it is only fair he understands the vehicle before lining up at Valencia, if the FIA gagree this would be another positive thing for Fota, good work, a sensible working attitude will always prevail.

    • Maksutov said on 31st July 2009, 18:10

      mmmm… I came across that article also:

      http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/090731171222.shtml

      If that is the case, they should lift the ban this once for all drivers and teams, just so people dont start crying about it… But overall the FIA has to make that decision

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st July 2009, 19:49

      I’m very surprised the teams have agreed to it, but if they’re all happy then fair enough. I bet Toro Rosso regret ot trying to get Alguersuari in the car for one day. Although that is a different situation – they’re replacing Bourdais out of choice, not necessity.

      • Maksutov said on 1st August 2009, 12:21

        hmmm, yes it is indeed interesting decision. As I stated above I do think they should simply lift the test bad for all for say a day or two, and let whoever wants to test to do so.. and be done with it.

        Lets see what FIA decide..

  4. Wen said on 31st July 2009, 19:03

    However, the move to let Schumacher test the F60 is viewed as a sporting gesture to a team that is forced to use a new and ‘rusty’ driver in place of one who cannot currently drive. This is just so that Ferrari can have two drivers that are up-to-par and not be at a disadvantage due to unfortunate circumstances.

    It’s different for Jaime as Torro Rosso willingly sacked a competent driver for a new one, essentially bringing the problem of having inexperienced drivers upon themselves.

    Then again, it helps that the whole world wants to see you win again as soon as possible. So all the best to you, Schumi!

  5. Damon said on 31st July 2009, 19:29

    It’s different for Jaime as Torro Rosso willingly sacked a competent driver for a new one, essentially bringing the problem of having inexperienced drivers upon themselves.

    Exactly. This might be it.

  6. Wen said on 31st July 2009, 20:03

    I’m wondering, if Schumacher does indeed make a successful comeback and decides to stay on further, who can he drive for next year? That is assuming Massa is staying at Ferrari and Alonso is on his way in to replace Kimi. Can Ferrari cancel Alonso’s contract before it commences as I highly suspect Ferrari would prefer to have schumacher rather than Alonso. Or maybe I’m just getting wayy too ahead of myself…

  7. HounslowBusGarage said on 31st July 2009, 21:57

    Huh? Those are grooved tyres.

    That can’t really be mp4-19b, he hasn’t got red eyes!

    • well, you’re right, the video is a fake. I don’t know if they’re allowed to use slicks, but I’ve had a look at the complete video and Mugello has no bridges.
      The footage is from Fiorano.

  8. There’s only 1 thing I don’t like of Schumacher coming back, and it’s that this won’t be his last race :)

    surfing around youtube I found this interesting video of a helmet camera
    … totally offtopic but cool. If only DC didn’t crash at brazil last year we could have enjoyed it during the whole race.

  9. F1Stumbler said on 31st July 2009, 23:52

    Video of Schumi testings in Mugello today: http://bit.ly/1mWQNv

  10. Bernification said on 1st August 2009, 3:49

    Hey guys, lets face it, if any guy has been allowed dispensation in their racing career, then it’s Schumi. And yes, I am talking about Ferraris veto ability.

    But also I’m talking about his incident with Hill, the probability that Benetton ran under height and with TC in the same season, the fact he ran (tried) JV off the track, his Monaco affair with parking, the fact he ignored black flag conditions at Silverstone, race fixing to Ruebens detriment, numerous ‘weaving’ incidents.

    Should I go on?

    Really, put him in, in the same place as Jaime.

    It’s only fair.

    • Bernification said on 1st August 2009, 3:57

      BTW, Micheal gave stupid amounts of money to charity in his career (and still does).

      I just want to see him compete on a level playing field. I will have utmost respect for him then.

  11. Bernification said on 1st August 2009, 3:54

    And before we go any further,

    Forza Felipe.

    Mate, we all want you to be well. I have so much respect for you. You are the most important thing. A good human being.

  12. Pingguest said on 1st August 2009, 11:25

    Let’s not forget that Mario Andretti drove two races in 1982, as a replacement for the injured Didier Pironi. The American took part of the Italian and Las Vegas Grand Prix. He started from Pole Position and finished third at Monza!

  13. Maksutov said on 1st August 2009, 12:45

    Some images from Schumacher Muggello test on 31st July 2009

    http://www.autosport.com/gallery/photo.php/id/1314483

  14. Andy said on 1st August 2009, 12:53

    Mp4,

    I read few of your ridiculous comments. I cannot believe you have such an opinion. Schumi is the best F1 driver ever lived and he is the reason that thousands are formula 1 fans. (including myself)

    He did not kill F1. That Nazi FIA boss is the main reason and their politically motivated rules. Drivers like Michael and Lewis are hard to find and they elevate the entire sport to a different level. Something like Lance Armstrong did for the sport of bicycling.

  15. I agree that Schumi should have some testing time is the new car – and no I don’t really like him as a driver. When he was winning and I don’t take anything away from him, it was a procession every race which is not really exciting for the spectators – although I never missed a race. However for safety reason surely he should have the chance to get used to the new car so that there is a lower risk of a mistake that could cause an accident. I total respect his ability but these cars are very different from the last time that he actually raced.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.