In the same way that dotty old ladies seem convinced that policemen are getting younger, I must admit to having noticed a similar thing with F1 drivers…

Just look at any season review from the 60s or 70s – they’re all either lanky moustachioed playboys and medallion men, or haggard looking blokes with combovers and huge muttonchop sideburns.

But look at the new bunch and you can’t help wonder whether Bernie’s paddock improvements at Spa include a creche, or at the very least some big fluffy toys and Happy Meals…

Take Christian Klien, who recently fought off allegations of a nightclub incident. Think about it and it’s obvious he’s innocent – for the simple reason that nobody would let him into a nightclub in the first place. Because he looks about twelve.

Seriously… would you??? No, of course you wouldn’t – you’d lose your license.
And the ‘assault’ stuff sounds pretty unlikely too: It’d be like getting savaged by the Andrex puppy.

It must be a real downer for Klien to have spent so long simply being recognised by ITV’s James Allen as “the only F1 driver with an earring” – something which is of course no longer true thanks to the chavtastic Tonio Liuzzi (doomed to be referred to by James Allen as “the only F1 driver with 27 earrings”).

Another relative youngster, Liuzzi at least looks like he could handle himself in a fight. In fact he looks like he might start a few down the Bluewater shopping centre given half a chance.

Still, they’re not all youngsters… At the other end of the scale at least we’ve got DC – Klien’s Uncle David – and Michael Schumacher stacking up the age and experience, and in the case of DC a whole lot of belly laughs and a fun attitude since he left McLaren too.

Schumy has Felipe Massa as his junior: the world’s fastest Cabbage Patch Doll, and a very different proposition to Rubens. Massa is surely little more than a useful stopgap in the Scuderia’s forward planning of driver line-ups, although the 2006 season is still a monumental opportunity for the tiny Brazilian.

And he’d better not blow it or he’ll be sent to his room…