Young drivers are arriving in Formula 1 with the right mentality to absorb pressure, according to three-time Grand Prix winner, Johnny Herbert.
In recent years, F1 has seen an influx of young drivers entering the series, after Max Verstappen made his debut at the age of 17, and only one of last season’s four rookies was aged over 25, with two making their debuts under the age of 21.
And, with Charles Leclerc arriving at Ferrari after only one year of racing in the series, and beating four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, Herbert feels that the young drivers have the right mentality to be successful straight away.
Speaking to Last Lap at Autosport International, Herbert said: “You’ve got this young generation, [who] I think that are a damn good generation that would do a good job [at a top team], given the opportunity.
“I think they’ve got the right mentalities to be able to absorb the pressure.”
Herbert believes that the success to being a great racing driver is to having the ability not to dwell on mistakes, something that caused Daniil Kvyat to lose his form, after being dropped from Red Bull due to having too many mistakes and being unable to match his then team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo.
And, with Alex Albon having been promoted to Red Bull mid-way last season, and pitted against Max Verstappen, Herbert believes Albon is the prime example of the capabilities of the new, young and less experienced drivers.
“Alex has got a very good mind where if he has an issue he can put it in a box, lock it, put it on a shelf and just get on with it.
“[He] doesn’t sort of carry on looking at what happened in that race before, where some drivers still dwell on what [happened].
“So, that type of mentality is very important thing to have.”
Herbert also believes that Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc has the same ability and proved it by passing Verstappen at the British Grand Prix, after losing out on a victory to the Red Bull driver at the race before in Austria.
“With what happened in Austria, he actually went right ok, he didn’t dwell on it.
“He had a bit of a moan about it, didn’t dwell on it and went to the next race and bang, bang, ‘I’m a tough one’.
“That’s the only way, the only choice the big boys have,”