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Pirelli confirms 2017 overtaking drought

NEWS STORY
05/12/2017

While the new regulations for 2017 were set to increase cornering speeds helping to create the fastest ever cars to grace the F1 grid, the failure to address aerodynamic grip meant that the age old problem of overtaking remained.

From the opening race in Melbourne right through to Abu Dhabi, drivers complained that as soon as they got within a certain distance of the car ahead, grip went out the window meaning that there was little hope of making a successful pass.

In calculating its figures, Pirelli states that "an overtaking manoeuvre is counted as one that takes place during complete flying laps (so not on the opening lap) and is then maintained all the way to the lap's finish line. Position changes due to major mechanical problems or lapping/unlapping are not counted".

With that in mind, 2017 witnessed a total of 435 overtakes, compared to 866 in 2016.

While there were 21 races in 2016, compared to 20 this season, the averages overtakes per race reflect this, with an average of 41.2 last year and 21.8 this year.

Azerbaijan witnessed the highest number of overtakes in a dry race, while at 31, China featured the most in a wet race. The Russian Grand Prix featured just one successful pass.

Unsurprisingly, Daniel Ricciardo made the most successful passes, the Australian carrying out 43 over the course of the year, with 13 during the British Grand Prix alone.

Having been passed just twice, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are the drivers who were overtaken on the least number of occasions this year, while over the course of the year rookie Lance Stroll made up a total of 36 places on his opening laps.

As well as being the team that carried out the most overtaking, Red Bull (65 moves) was also overtaken the least, the Austrian team losing just 11 places, 9 for Ricciardo, and 2 for Verstappen. The Ferrari duo was also on 11 places, 8 for Kimi Raikkonen, and 3 for Sebastian Vettel.

With 2017 featuring less average overtakes per race for any season since Pirelli returned to the sport in 2011, the Italian manufacturer is relying on its more aggressive tyres for 2018 improving the situation, though with the aero rules still unaddressed this is highly unlikely.

On the other hand, F1 has a vibrant new logo.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spindoctor, 10/12/2017 7:32

"The Fans know it, Pirelli knows it, I expect the teams know it.: 'It's the Aero, stupid!'
How come Ross Brawn doesn't know it? Oh, and will someone please tell FIA & Carey.

To reiterate - The PUs are ferociously expensive, but chucking them in the bin and switching to any other power source won't change the fact that modern F1 cars only work properly in "clean" air. They loose performanmce when behind other cars. Add-in the vagiaries of tyres, with very narrow operating 'windows', and it's a recipe for cars to be strung-out around the track like a string of pearls.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the eind blows, and you don't need to be any kind of F1 'expert' to work-out a logical solution to this problem. "

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2. Posted by F One, 06/12/2017 23:08

"But there was overtaking around the front unlike previous seasons.
I couldn't care less if there are a million overtakes for 10th or 20th or something as it's irrelevant."

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3. Posted by Hobgoblin, 06/12/2017 9:47

"So... aero is a problem. Who would have guessed...?"

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4. Posted by imejl99, 06/12/2017 9:44

"Exclude DRS overtakes, picture is even worse. Exclude Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari when starting from low positions and are charging thru the field... Maybe there was real overtake, I sincerely doubt. All artificial.

I strongly believe that F1 became strategy racing, not track racing. I believe every team has every race on every tire combination from any grid position simulated, and then they choose what to execute on Sunday. There are 20 cars executing their own race. We are forced to look forward to rain, safety car, pit stop mistakes. THE worst thing for me is when radio communication says "never mind him, we are not racing him"... who are you racing then? Your own simulation?"

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5. Posted by Rhaycen, 06/12/2017 9:15

"I think wingless cars would be fine, give them a bit more freedom to use ground effect. Maybe a return the suspension systems we had in the early 90's, but remove the wings. That way you should be able to conserve a lot of the downforce, while removing a major source of drag.

The main reason they wouldn't want the wings gone, is that specially the rear wing is a major advertisement source. "

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6. Posted by phantom, 05/12/2017 23:18

"Yeah, but there's a new logo!"

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7. Posted by nonickname, 05/12/2017 20:23

"No, keep wings... front 2 piece and single curve end plate. Top wing driver controlled by driver.
Rear wing big and wide. 2 elements with driver control on the top one .No wind tunnels at all.
MotoGP has more overtaking in 1 lap the a F1 race has all day"

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8. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 05/12/2017 18:29

"To nobody's surprise - except the FIA, and the SWG......"

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9. Posted by Liam III, 05/12/2017 17:59

"@Tweek- That would certainly save a small fortune on aero. :) "

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10. Posted by Tweek, 05/12/2017 17:19

"As predicted by the drivers, most former f1 personalities, ohh and basically all the fans. Isn’t it about time for f1 to return to wingless cars?"

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