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 Post subject: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:08 pm 
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How does age affect an F1 driver's performance? I hear people talking about reaction times getting slower with age etc., and while I don't doubt that I'm just curious if that makes it a fact that you become a slower driver? Could it be just that from generation to generation the drivers become more and more competitive and with time the previous generation just can't keep up with the young guys even if the speed hasn't decreased at all?

I started thinking about this when I saw who the two players sharing the NHL points lead are; Jagr and Selänne, aged 40 and 42. If you can still be at the very top in such a physical sport such as ice hockey, why not F1?

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:15 pm 
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I reckon a large part of it is not necessarily age, but rather stage of life.

Referring to what gave him the confidence to overtake Schumacher around the outside of 130R in 2006, Alonso said: "At times like that, I always remember that Michael has two kids."

In terms of what's at risk it must make a huge difference in comparison to the in-his-20s bachelor.


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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:28 pm 
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I think Michael Schumacher proved 2010-2012 that age does affect a driver. He could no longer compete with the best of the younger drivers. Although he did get very close to Rosberg in 2012. Imo he was racing very well, but Alonso was at another level, as were Hamilton and Vettel.

Michael is fitter than any previous 'senior' driver, and than most of 2012's grid! As training ,etc become so much more professional, drivers much fitter and ony-F1 focussed, and start younger F1 careers, the standard is higher, they have strong karting backgrounds from age 4 or so.

I reckon Fangio would not stand a chance at his 40+ age today. But in his day, when races were sometimes 500km and 3 hours, his mental and physical strength were of the best. At age 44 he beat all the young guns, Moss, Musso, Hawthorn, etc in the 1955 heatwave Argentine GP, and was one of only two drivers to finish without relief. A strong man indeed. Fangio was exceptional as an athlete, but even his speed was slowing in his last seasons. Imo he raced at about the same gap from the fastest driver, Moss as Schumacher did from Alonso in 2012. Different times and conditions.

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:11 pm 
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There are many "sayings" in racing. This one was relevant many years ago when accidents had many more fatalities.

Quote:
There are old drivers, there are bold drivers, but there are no old, bold drivers.


When I look back on my wild and crazy youth, I wonder how I survived it, taking risks that age and experience now tell me that usually fail and result in disaster.


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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:19 pm 
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fieldstvl wrote:
I reckon a large part of it is not necessarily age, but rather stage of life.

Referring to what gave him the confidence to overtake Schumacher around the outside of 130R in 2006, Alonso said: "At times like that, I always remember that Michael has two kids."

In terms of what's at risk it must make a huge difference in comparison to the in-his-20s bachelor.


What Alonso said is so funny! Never thought a driver could be so calculating, but FA really is shrewd.

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
There are many "sayings" in racing. This one was relevant many years ago when accidents had many more fatalities.

Quote:
There are old drivers, there are bold drivers, but there are no old, bold drivers.


When I look back on my wild and crazy youth, I wonder how I survived it, taking risks that age and experience now tell me that usually fail and result in disaster.


Don't we all, I remember falling out of a moving car. Doing a stuntman roll getting up dusting of the jacket and getting back in like nothing happened.

Now I think if I fell out of bed I would end up in Hospital :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:48 pm 
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It is not about the fitness, it is more about how much you are willing to take risks and driving on the limit.
When I was in my early twenties, I used to go flat out on the highways crossing between the cars with a speed sometimes reaching 200 km/h. Now I never do it, and curse the people doing it, and driving at 100km/h seems like flying for me now. It is only because I am more afraid of doing it even though I love speed.


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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:04 pm 
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As you get older an unconscious sense of self preservation starts starts to kick in. When you are young you tend to be reckless you think you are invincible and take much bigger risks even though you know its gonna hurt if it all goes wrong. As you get older the size of the risks you take tend to get smaller, partly from experience and partly from not wanting to risk hurting too bad.

In a sport like F1 drivers are generally pretty good at blocking out the real world consequences as the safety of the cars should protect them if it all goes pear shaped, but all it takes is that split second of hesitation due to the self preservation factor to slow them down.

People say it is a reflex issue but I bet that in a safe place Schui would be able to react as quickly as Vettel or anyone else, but out on track when a situation arises instead of instantly following his instincts and going for a gap regardless of the outcome the brain takes over for a split second and tries to calculate if this is going to hurt and that slight hesitation makes the difference from '94 Schui to 2012 Schui.

There was a study done a few years ago but I can't find the link right now, but it concluded that reaction as such does not fade until around the late 50s (different ages in different people, but it was based on professional drivers and pilots etc), but in a dangerous situation there was a marked difference related to age and circumstances, people with families tended to be more cautious for example.

A strange point that also came out was that people in like their late 60s and 70s started to become more reckless again, maybe trying to get a last little something out of life!!


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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:21 pm 
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Age only effects your consistently and reactions, the speed is always there, but even so the amount of champions we have had in their late 30's and 40's shows that even with age if the driver has true ability he will still get the job done to the best of those abilities.

People like to bring up Schumacher, which is not the best example, it's more of an excuse his fans make for him getting firmly beaten by Rosberg, as he has allot on here so there is many who are very bitter and make up the most amount of silly and none logical excuses, of course he lost consistently and reactions, but it was the same 7xwdc behind the wheel.

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Slower reactions, slower speed, less consistency, worse results, it all snowballs.

Anyway we all know F1Thomas will do anything to slur on Schumacher. Even write complete rubbish.

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:37 pm 
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I think it has more to do with lack of drive rather than lack of skill


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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:27 am 
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Your responses slow proportionately to an increased sense of danger. The combination = somewhat less competitive.

But that is a generalization. I am sure there are people who defy all of that as they age; just like there are people who are slow in responding and have a strong sense of danger from a young age.


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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:32 am 
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As shown in Singapore 2012, did Schumie had a brain fade with Vergne?


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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:35 am 
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Well Sir Jack Brabham won a world championship at the age of 40, with the departure of Schumacher and Pedro Webber is now the eldest driver on the grid and he is still winning races. I think its more of a case of older drivers being fed up with all the traveling, politics and media which is reflected in their results.

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:13 am 
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I read a piece by Martin Brundle a year or so ago about Schumacher and why he wasn't at his previous level. Fundamentally, as a person ages, they tend to realise their own mortality. Where a younger you might have braked at 90m, you now find yourself braking at 95 or 100m. At a single corner you're losing very little time, but around a 17-corner race track it all adds up to lose you a fair amount of time around a lap. 0.010 seconds lost around each corner is almost 2 tenths by the end of that lap. How far was Schumacher usually behind Rosberg in qualifying?

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:58 am 
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About Schumacher, when he came back, there were many changes and no testing. Getting used to something is one thing, getting most out of them is quite another and that takes time, especially after a 3 year gap. If people paid attention, they could see he was getting batter... but it is easy to rant on, so why not.

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Last edited by garagetinkerer on Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:59 am 
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In case of Schumacher it was a 3 year break at his age that was more of an issue than age itself. That is something which is hard to do.
I have no doubt in my mind that if drivers like Webber, Button, Massa, Alonso keep themselves fit and motivated they can easily go to their late 30s or even 40s till they remain at the top of their game.
Forget mortality, for Schumacher it was case of motivation more than anything else. Will to compete and absolute heart breaking desire to win championships are two different things.
The age where you really start to lose your reaction time is well beyond 40. The high impact sport like hockey or football or cricket is where body starts to give up on you in last 30s. F1 is still relatively low impact sport even with the amount of G forces these drivers have to endure during race.
If you take a 3 year break like Schumacher did and them come back with the team with mediocre car at best for all 3 seasons, it is impossible to repeat the previous success.


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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:03 am 
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No one has mentioned the changes the new tires have imposed on driver style. Schumacher comes from karts, and all his life has driven a car that has a quick turn-in at the front, and he steered from the rear. So when he came back, he was suddenly faced with rear tires that could not be used as before. So he had to completely change his style, and many believe he just didn't adapt as well as younger drivers did.

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:45 pm 
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Generally I would have to agree but in Schumi's case I think the car was simply counting against him in 2 ways.

1. Not good enough
2. Didn't play to his preferences

Michael is a VERY selective person and is almost to the point of OCD and quite simply, if something doesn't FEEL right to him he can have a hard time acclimating to it and adjusting. When at Ferrari at first the cars were a bit similar to the MB cars he drove his last 3 seasons and the results were a bit similar. However, once everything was sorted out and the complete package felt right and good to him, he was able to go pedal to the metal and just go. Interestingly enough, whenever the cars felt right for him his teammates all seemed to do better and when the cars were a bit off their performances tapered off more than his own.

Still I think Michael did a really good job given the cars from 2010 - 2012 weren't capable of top finishes consistently. His Drive in Canada will forever be one of my greatest and most cherished F1 memories of all time and his Pole qualifying at Monaco says EVERYTHING the man is about. To pull that kind of lap time from your donkey, in a car I'm sure NO ONE ELSE could have qualified in higher than maybe 5th, says how great Michael IS. His experience and mastery of Monaco had a great deal to do with it but of any track on the calendar, NONE demand the concentration and reflexes of Monaco, so it is my opinion that Michael lost little if anything and was just unlucky to drive cars that weren't up to par. I'm fairly certain that had Michael landed in a Red bull or McLaren, the opinion of him his last 3 seasons would be very different.

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:48 pm 
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the incubus wrote:
Generally I would have to agree but in Schumi's case I think the car was simply counting against him in 2 ways.

1. Not good enough
2. Didn't play to his preferences

Michael is a VERY selective person and is almost to the point of OCD and quite simply, if something doesn't FEEL right to him he can have a hard time acclimating to it and adjusting. When at Ferrari at first the cars were a bit similar to the MB cars he drove his last 3 seasons and the results were a bit similar. However, once everything was sorted out and the complete package felt right and good to him, he was able to go pedal to the metal and just go. Interestingly enough, whenever the cars felt right for him his teammates all seemed to do better and when the cars were a bit off their performances tapered off more than his own.

Still I think Michael did a really good job given the cars from 2010 - 2012 weren't capable of top finishes consistently. His Drive in Canada will forever be one of my greatest and most cherished F1 memories of all time and his Pole qualifying at Monaco says EVERYTHING the man is about. To pull that kind of lap time from your donkey, in a car I'm sure NO ONE ELSE could have qualified in higher than maybe 5th, says how great Michael IS. His experience and mastery of Monaco had a great deal to do with it but of any track on the calendar, NONE demand the concentration and reflexes of Monaco, so it is my opinion that Michael lost little if anything and was just unlucky to drive cars that weren't up to par. I'm fairly certain that had Michael landed in a Red bull or McLaren, the opinion of him his last 3 seasons would be very different.


Wasn't Nico third?

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:09 pm 
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Yes, you're right. LOL

Guess I got a little over exuberant. But still Rosberg is said to have had the measure of Michael and the best he could do is 3rd while the old geezer who should be put out to pasture tops the timesheets. Would've been a win to I reckon were it not for the penalty. But as the saying goes… Se la vie!

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:34 pm 
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the incubus wrote:
Yes, you're right. LOL

Guess I got a little over exuberant. But still Rosberg is said to have had the measure of Michael and the best he could do is 3rd while the old geezer who should be put out to pasture tops the timesheets. Would've been a win to I reckon were it not for the penalty. But as the saying goes… Se la vie!

It's normally C'est la vie!


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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:51 pm 
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Depends where you reside. It's written several different ways apparently.

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 Post subject: Re: Age in F1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:45 pm 
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Age affects F1 driver's performance, unless it's name is Nigel Mansell or Alain Prost.

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