Despite the final outcome, this weekend belonged to a very young driver, Charles Leclerc, but two other youngsters also stood out.
Both Lando Norris and Alexander Albon finished in the points in only their second race in the category. McLaren driver Norris had a particularly good weekend, and on Saturday he made it into Q3 for the second consecutive time. On Sunday he converted that potential into good points, finishing sixth, the team’s best result since last year’s Australian Grand Prix.
The Woking team has definitely gone down the youth route this season and while Norris’ team-mate Carlos Sainz has 83 grands prix under his belt he’s still just 24 years old. At the moment, McLaren’s choice seems to be paying off.
In Faenza, the home of Toro Rosso (and where Sainz got his start) they are well used to bringing on youngsters, but maybe even they didn’t expect Albon to be so well prepared for it. The Thai driver qualified well, in 12th place, and in the race did not put a foot wrong. He drove a sensible race, showing good pace and took advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves. Again, it was a mature, clever and laudable performance.
George Russell, too, had a good race, even if the current difficulties at Williams mean that he does not have the equipment to fight with his fellow newcomers.
It’s good that Formula 1 is bringing through a genuinely exciting new generation of drivers. Not that we don’t like the established stars such as Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, or the veteran Kimi Räikkönen, but new drivers are the sport’s life blood that help it grow!