Coulthard: Age 30-35 still a 'brilliant window' for a racing driver

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David Coulthard believes age 30-35 remains a "brilliant window" to be a racing driver.

Over the past decade, the average age of Formula 1 drivers has got lower and lower with Max Verstappen, Lance Stroll and Lando Norris among those to have joined the grid as teenagers.

Even now, it feels like there is a generational shift about to take place with Fernando Alonso already gone while Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel will consider their future's this year.

But Coulthard, who himself retired aged 37 in 2008, still thinks F1 can be an older man's sport.

"The fact that they come younger [into F1], inevitably they don't have the life experience because you hope that you'll be a better person at 30 than you are at 20," he said at the recent Autosport International event.

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"If you've gone through a continual development, you hope that that development would continue and, in a sporting sense, I still think 30-35 is the brilliant window for racing drivers in terms of life experience."

Of course, the one driver now at the end of that 'window' is Lewis Hamilton, who turned 35 earlier this month.

Despite questions over how long he has left in F1, the man himself says he feels "fitter than ever" ahead of 2020, but Coulthard also pointed to changes his fellow Briton has made during his career to prove how age impacts a driver's approach.

"I don't think they get faster, I just think you're more able to make life decisions which enable you to - for instance, over the last couple of years, Lewis Hamilton has been managing his own contract. Before that, it was being done for him, these are all life experiences," the Scot explained.

"He's not doing that because he wants the workload, it's because he wants the ownership.

"It's his career, so rather than someone else reading the small print, he's now reading that and I think the young guys coming into Formula 1 today only want to see the contract when they sign it.

"They will inevitably develop, but if you're good enough, you're old enough. If you're good enough, you're not too old. That's the key message in life and in motorsport."