Experience V exuberance

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
Morning all.

As I was out for a drive last week, I thought back to my younger years, and came to the conclusion that there are things which I used to do whilst driving, that i would not think about doing now, and I put this down to the exoperience that age brings with it, and the decision making processes which change as you get older.

This also got me to thinking about F1.

Looking at the current drivers, there are some great young guns around, all exciting to watch, and some older.

I simply ask the question, how does age affect the drivers? do they take fewer risks? do their reactions slow down, and affect their car control (however sligh

Also, I am sure that there are trade offs, as has been seen, certainly around decision making for pit stops, and caution at times to avoid a race finishing incident.

So, who do we think would be better where they are now, if they were a few years younger? is it true that youth is wasted on the young?
Without doubt reactions slow as you get older - I mentioned that in the Schumacher thread.

The points you raise are interesting though, as no matter how good these guys are, without doubt their age will factor in to their decision making process.
Perhaps early on in their career they will take more chances for a variety of reasons: trying to prove they are entitled to their seat, trying to get noticed, not caring if they crash out of a few races as the gains outweigh the risks early on in their careers.

Of course as they get older they also gain more experience so it will be these two things combined which will bring about a change in their driving.
In the F1 scheme of things, you have to be ancient (mid 30s at least) before your reactions slow. That is more than made up for by experience. Experience is what allows drivers to anticipate problems and thereby avoid accidents etc, making the accumulation of points more certain.

Hot shoes such as Rindt and Scheckter were fabulously quick from the start, but weren't viable WDC contenders until they had gained enough experience to tone down the "red mist" effect.
As another increasingly older but not quite ancient older geezer I can appreciate the concerns of young folk about our capabilities. What I can tell you is, is that there are a whole set of things that may or may not fade away as one ages. We use a complexity of facets such as spacial awareness, reaction time to visual and physical stimuli, memory, the ability to process information and to multi-task, etc. That's a whole lot of stuff to keep sharp. Add to that the amount of new stuff we accumulate in our little grey cells every day and well, somethings got to give.

I'm not the man I was. I am the man I am. Tomorrow I will be someone else. I think I might have said that or it could have been some other bloke. F'man
Compiling stats for this site, it has struck me that in general (definitely not true for all drivers but as a general trend) older drivers tend to have more collisions and accidents leading to retirement than younger drivers do. DC's final season would be a case in point. Not necessarily what we might expect?

This is only based on a sample of the past decade or so - in the olden days things may have been different.
Hmmm tough one this.

Is there a difference between experience and maturity? If so this then leads us to the enigma of Lewis Hamilton - would have he had done so well in his first season without the "red mist" / ignorance of youth - as in he wasn't to know that you're meant to spend your first season learning?

But since then he's more experienced yes, but I also believe he's matured, if you look at some of his early races he'd look pissed off if he came 3rd, now with a bit more maturity he can see the bigger picture.

Apologies if this doesn't make much sense, I'm in a hurry ;)
Up until the age of 35 or so when rallying I had no problems whatsoever but one day, travelling at about 90mph on gravel in a forest I suddenly realised what I was doing could be painful, not to say life-threatening. Having two young kids at the time I also realised I might be just a bit selfish.

I quit the sport at the end of the season.
I wonder if lack of exuberance with age is down to leaving a legacy. When younger, drivers feel like they can make mistakes because they have their whole career to make up for them, while when in the prime of their careers, drivers feel like if they waste a season or two on unnecessary mistakes they might never be able to make up for it. I certainly see a difference between the Lewis of 2007 and the Lewis of 2011. He might still have flair, but he use to drive like he didn't have a care in the world during his first season, win or lose. Since then, he has been very slowly getting wiser and more cautious. The worst of which was at the end of last season where after those two DNFs, he suddenly seemed really tame and boring. Luckily none of that so far this year. :)

Maybe exuberance simply evolves into experience. Exuberance leads to mistakes that a driver learns from and gains experience.
Exuberance is certainly tempered by experience - but, then, every so often you think "sod it" and go for it (whatever the "it" might be!)

To bring it back thread, I would cite Webber in China - to all intents and purposes he didn't stand a chance starting so far down - but I think I heard a "sod it" quite early on in the race :D
Whenever you hear someone say "sod it" you know either something terrible is about to happen or something great.
McLaren as a team seem to be very conservative when it comes to strategy which I feel was the issue toward the end of last season. Every now and then Lewis's demeanour betrays the fact that he is often driving to instruction rather than instinct - strategy wise, that is.
Yeah today was the perfect example. He was shrugging and saying "i wanted to save a set of tyres". Then you should have Lewis! Don't listen to those blonkers. They don't seem to know what they are doing half the time.

At the end of the last race, i said that Lewis' strategy should always be less about track position and more about having the best tyres so he can go out and do his thing. If optimum strategy is between a 2&3 stopper, Lewis should always be first to move to a 3 stopper because saving tyres doesn't emphasis his skills, which is driving through traffic like it wasn't there.
It's got to be tricky though. There does need to be a balance between taking decisions based on where you feel you are in a race and what the team can see from pit wall, but, yes McLaren do seem to cock it up rather too often for my liking. Maybe when his race engineer lets go of some of his grip on Lewis's strategy we could really see some magic.
This thread throws up an interesting thought...

Experience vs Exuberance.

What do you think would happen if the Blue Flag was done away with?

I think the race would open up. If the experienced exuberant drivers had to negotiate the inexperienced over-exuberant drivers I reckon we'd see some fireworks!

Anybody agree, or am I in a minority of one yet again???

ok - but in my view F1 is currently divided into classes, just like Sports Car racing. The use of a Blue Flag acknowledges this by telling Class 2 to get out of the way of Class 1.
If we think back to Hockenheim last year, why then, did Massa not have a Blue flag waved at him to let Alonso pass?
Yep - definitely 2 or maybe even 3, "Classes" in Formula 1.
Massa wasn't a lap down on Alonso at hockenheim though, was he? He was leading the race!
And yet he was effectively given the 'blue flag' by his own team.
Exuberence can get you so far....experience will get you far :thumbsup:
Although I believe experience is a good thing, sometimes luck is on the side of exuberance - occasionally neither matter and it's all in the lap of the Gods (or team calls in this case).
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