Boy Racers: The youngest drivers on the planet!

Date: 12/03/2024
Author: Thomas Manaton
Company: Swansway Motor Group

Last weekend 18-year-old Oliver Bearman became the youngest British F1 driver to race in a Grand Prix. His 7th place was an impressive achievement, but it's not the only news of young drivers hitting the headlines over the last few days. With reports of a petition to reduce the legal age for driving in the UK to 13, gaining almost 4000 signatures, it is a popular suggestion.

So, motoring experts Swansway Motor Group have put together a list of the youngest drivers on the planet. Their achievements are incredible and might get you thinking; could the driving age be lowered?

Read on to learn about 5 wheeling wonderkids.

1. First on our list is Max Verstappen, a position he has become quite familiar with over recent years. Although now 26 and a 3x world champion, Max was just 17 years and 166 days when he became the youngest driver ever to start an F1 race at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix. At the next race in Malaysia, he became the youngest ever to score points. In fact, Verstappen drove in 14 Grand Prix before passing his driving test, which he did shortly after his 18th birthday in September 2015.

2. Next up is the youngest driver on this list, 3-year-old Zayn Sofuoğlu who drove a Ferrari SF90 around a race track last year. Admittedly Zayn has racing pedigree, his Father Kenan Sofuoğlu is a 5x Motorbike champion in the SuperSport World Championship. But nevertheless, Zayn used a booster seat to reach the steering wheel and special pedal extenders to navigate the private circuit in the 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine Ferrari.

3. Our 3rd boy racer is Dustin Jackson who in 2011 became the youngest stock car driver in the world at 10 years old. Following in his Father Brett’s footsteps, Dustin drove a modified Dodge Neon in his first stock car race on June 12, 2011. Dubbed “dynamite kid”, Dustin’s car was modified to suit his 11-year-old size. Stock car racing takes place on an oval track with the largest governing body being NASCAR.

4. 4 is the age Ronnie Ray Carter was when he drove a Go Kart at 40mph before he’d even started primary school! Back in 2019, Ronnie was the youngest racer in the Bambino Kart Club Championships, winning his first race at the 2019 Spanish Winter Cup.

Ronnie, from Runcorn in Cheshire, first sat in a Go Kart aged 3 and was taught by his dad who limited the kart to 10mph and used wheelie bins to teach Ronnie how to steer. Ronnie hopes to race in the F1 one day and is on the right track, as Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel both started their karting careers aged 3.

5. We’re supersizing for the final entry to this list. The world’s youngest female Monster Truck driver is Faith Prheed, the 15-year-old driver of “Animal House”. Florida based Faith started Monster Truck competitions last year, aged 14, recently competing in the annual Monster Truck Winter Nationals. Like many on this list, Faith is a chip of the ol’ block. Her father, Shane, toured with Monster Trucks for over 30 years.

A common denominator for most of the names on this list is professional parents, whether it was Max Verstappen’s father Jos, who himself was an F1 driver or Kenan Sofuoğlu who was able to create perfect conditions for Zayn to race the Ferrari. This suggests that these wonderkids are exceptions to the rule so lowering the driving will need a lot of consideration.

However, if you recently started learning to drive or have just passed your test and are looking to buy your first car, you’ll have plenty of motoring decisions to make. Motoring experts Swansway Motor Group can steer in the right direction with useful tips and advice on their blog: