Why overtaking in 2017 shouldn’t be judged on Melbourne alone

Why overtaking in 2017 shouldn’t be judged on Melbourne alone

03.04.2017: One race into an all-new era of F1 and debate around the success of the 2017 regulations already rages. Melbourne featured

One race into an all-new era of F1 and debate around the success of the 2017 regulations already rages. Melbourne featured a tense battle between Sebastian and Lewis for the win – but a lack of overtaking throughout the field prompted questions about Formula One’s new regulations. Was this indicative of things to come, or just a one-off? The answer is a bit of both.





The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit has never been great for overtaking. If you go back to the last Australian Grand Prix run under a stable set of regulations, without any major incidents or too many cars starting out of position, you will find precious few passing manoeuvres to note. 2015 featured 13 overtakes – 10 of which were completed using DRS. 2014 was a similar story, with 24 total overtakes – eight with the help of DRS.



Yes, this year’s Australian Grand Prix featured only 12 changes of position – including two “normal” overtakes and three overtakes with the assistance of DRS. But the variability year-on-year at this event can be significant.



 In 2016, a race with a red flag, three Safety Car appearances and plenty of cars starting out of position featured 40 changes of position on track. 2017, by contrast, saw none of these factors, with cars qualifying pretty much as expected and performance differentials throughout the field not sufficient to make changes of position an inevitability.



Traditional passing opportunities aside, a secondary factor came into play in Melbourne. There simply wasn’t enough degradation from the new 2017 Pirelli rubber to promote overtaking. Performance differentials become greater when tyres begin dropping off at different rates and this didn’t happen at Albert Park.



So the 2017 level of overtaking in Melbourne was low by any measure. However, it would not be right to take the season-opener as a definitive example for the rest of the campaign.



Looking ahead to China, the amount of overtaking in recent years has been significantly different.  2016 saw a whopping 181 passing manoeuvres. Some even argued that Shanghai produced a “fake race” last year owing to the number of changes of position. Cars simply needed to sit in the DRS window and then they came through on the long back straight.



While that number might be tough to match in more straightforward circumstances (last year’s race featured a chaotic first lap, an early Safety Car and Lewis’ charge from the back), the 28 overtakes from the 2015 edition should be a sensible target. This is the first time we will see what F1 2017 is really made of.




From what we have observed so far, there are factors that will actually make overtaking easier this year. The magnitude of the tow effect is stronger in 2017 thanks to the revised regulations. Bigger cars equal greater wake. When the cars are charging down the straights, there will be an accentuated difference in speed when they enter the overtaking zone.



 The DRS effect too, is stronger. Thanks in part to the larger rear wings the lap time benefit of DRS has increased over 30%. This again will promote overtaking – especially at tracks with long straights like China and Bahrain.




Furthermore, there’s one key learning from Melbourne that has largely been overlooked. Sebastian Vettel was able to stick with Lewis throughout the first stint. Had he spent 16 laps tucked up behind the gearbox of another competitor in previous years, he would have ruined his tyres. Attack, and the rubber would have gone off very quickly.



 In this race, however, he was able to stay in the wake of Lewis’ car relatively comfortably and then push once he had clean air, ultimately taking the lead and the eventual win. That bodes well for closer pack racing this year.



After complaints that DRS has made overtaking too easy in Formula One, we’ll now see overtaking as a real game of risk. Drivers are going to have to be brave on the brakes, look after the car and hold onto it. If you’re going to overtake in this new era, you need to fight for it properly. That’s the way it should be. Perhaps it’s too early to write off F1 2017 just yet…




- Bradley Lord-  photo Mercedes

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/overtaking-2017-melbourne-shouldnt-be-judged---162822.html

03.04.2017 / MaP

More News

Battle resumes with Round Two of the 2017 season at the Shanghai International Circuit
03.04.2017
Toto Talks Shanghai“Australia was the first weekend for the new technical regulations, with a new car, new tyres and a new driver. We collected lots more information that will be flowing into all future thinking and will help us make better dec more >>
Renault Sport F1 Shanghai quick facts
03.04.2017
2017 FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX Shanghai International CircuitQuirky FactsThe largest Disney Store, at 54,000 square feet, in the world is located in Shanghai.Shanghai cooking is sweeter th more >>
Renault Sport F1 driver quotes ahead of Chinese Grand-Prix
03.04.2017
2017 FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX  Nico HülkenbergA second shy of the points in Melbourne, Nico Hülkenberg is determined to finish higher in Shanghai. What more >>
Renault Sport F1 Chinese Grand-Prix preview
03.04.2017
2017 FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX Foreword from Renault Sport Racing Managing Director, Cyril AbiteboulTo illustrate that the 2017 season is well and truly underway, we now head to China for the start of the first back-to- more >>
Pirelli F1 Chinese Grand Prix preview
03.04.2017
CHINESE GRAND PRIX PREVIEW Round 2 of 20Shanghai, 7-9 April 2017Shanghai imposes unique and quite high demands on the tyres, which has led to close racing as well as plenty of overtaking in the past. But the weather can also never be predicted, ranging from more >>
Sahara Force India F1 Chinese Grand-Prix preview
03.04.2017
2017 CHINESE GRAND PRIX, PREVIEW Shanghai International Circuit VJM: “I was proud of our performance in Australia. We achieved our objective of getting both cars home in the points and we’ve got our season underway. Psychologic more >>
McLaren Honda F1 Driver and Management quotes ahead of China GP
03.04.2017
Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International Circuit THE DRIVERS  FERNANDO ALONSO  #FA14  MCL32-03“Australia was a bit of a surprise for us, as we didn’t expect to perform at th more >>
McLaren-Honda F1 Chinese Grand-Prix preview
03.04.2017
Race title Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix Circuit name Shanghai International Circuit   First race 2004 Previous winners 2016 Nico Rosberg 56 laps, 1:38:53.891s2015 Lewis Hamilton2014 Lewis Hamilton2013 Fernando Alonso2012 Ni more >>
Pirelli F1 Chinese Grand Prix review
17.04.2016
2016 China Grand Prix – Race- Most drivers opt for three stops but a two-stopper allows Rosberg winning streak to continue- Wide variety of different strategies and tyre tactics on one of the most challenging tracks of the yea more >>
McLaren Honda F1 Chinese GP race review
17.04.2016
2016 CHINESE GRAND PRIX“It was fun racing the quicker cars today”Shanghai International Circuit, Sunday April 17Despite showing flashes of pace throughout the weekend, both drivers able to push hard inside more >>
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Chinese GP race
17.04.2016
2016 Chinese Grand Prix - Shanghai International CircuitSunday, April 17th 2016 Nico dominates, Lewis battles back on a dramatic afternoon in Shanghai •    Nico took his 17th career victory today - his more >>
Red Bull Racing F1 Chinese GP race review
17.04.2016
F1 CHINESE Grand Prix 2016Shanghai International CircuitSunday, April 17th 2016DANIIL KVYAT, Finish Position: 3rd ,Start Position: 6th“I really enjoyed the race today. Our pace was very strong and to more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Chinese GP race review
17.04.2016
2016 CHINESE GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY 17/04/2016 Max Verstappen (STR11-01, Car 33)Race: Pos. 8th “A race full of action! At the start, I had a good first reaction but then I wasn’t able to keep more >>
Williams Martini Racing F1 Chinese Grand Prix race review
17.04.2016
Chinese Grand Prix 2016 •    Felipe Massa finished sixth and Valtteri Bottas 10th in today’s Chinese Grand Prix. •    Felipe gained three places on the opening lap and managed his st more >>
Sahara Force India F1 Chinese GP race
17.04.2016
2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix: Race  Despite a very strong start to the race, Sahara Force India missed out on points in today’s Chinese Grand Prix as Sergio Perez crossed the line in P11 and Nico Hulkenberg in P15. more >>
Haas F1 Team Chinese GP race review
17.04.2016
Haas F1 Team Chinese GP race reviewLayout:  5.451-kilometer (3.387-mile), 16-turn circuitWeather:  Sunny, 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit)Race Winner:  Nico Rosberg of MercedesHaas F1 Te more >>
Renault Sport F1 Chinese GP race review
17.04.2016
Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix17 April 2016 Renault Sport Formula One Team was unable to move up the order in an action-packed 2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix where both drivers finished the race. more >>
Sauber F1 Team Chinese GP race review
17.04.2016
Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix – Race – Sunday17.04.2016Weather: dry and sunny, 22-20°C air, 45-37°C track The Sauber F1 Team finished the third race of the 2016 FIA Formula One Championship, the Chines more >>
F1 Chinese GP race result 2016
17.04.2016
F1 CHINESE Grand-PrixShanghai International CircuitSunday, April 17th 20161     Nico Rosberg     GER     Mercedes     1:38:53.891     252 &n more >>
Pirelli F1 Chinese GP qualifying review
16.04.2016
2016 Chinese Grand Prix – QualifyingSaturday, April 16th 2016Rosberg claims pole position on Supersoft at Chinese Grand Prix after action-packed qualifyingFollowing the warm conditions of yesterday, more >>
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Chinese GP qualifying
16.04.2016
Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International CircuitSaturday, April 16th 2016Bittersweet day in Shanghai with the Silver Arrows set to bookend tomorrow’s grid    Nico claimed his 23rd career pole position &n more >>
Red Bull Racing F1 Chinese GP qualifying review
16.04.2016
F1 Chinese Grand-PrixShanghai International CircuitSaturday, April 16th, 2016DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 2, (Practice 3, No Time Set)“Compared to last year we’ve certainly got a bit more from the more >>
Williams Martini Racing F1 Chinese GP qualifying review
16.04.2016
Chinese GP QualifyingShanghai International CircuitSaturday, April 16th 2016 Qualifying Notes•    Valtteri Bottas qualified fifth and Felipe Massa 11th for the Chinese Grand Prix more >>
Renault Sport F1 Chinese GP qualifying review
16.04.2016
2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix, Saturday, April 16th 2016 After limited running in third practice due to heavy rain, Renault Sport Formula One Team wrestled with the incident-strewn qualifying session for the 2016 Fo more >>
McLaren Honda F1 Chinese Grand Prix qualifying review
16.04.2016
2016 Chinese Grand Prix – qualifying “It’s undeniable that we’re very much a team on the move” Shanghai International Circuit, Saturday April 16This afternoon’s Chinese Gra more >>
Sauber F1 Team Chinese GP qualifying review
16.04.2016
Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix – Qualifying – SaturdayWeather: FP3: rainy, 19-20°C air, 20-24°C track; Qualifying: dry and cloudy, 23-22°C air, 25-23°C track.Both cars in Q2 – a dec more >>
Haas F1 Team Chinese GP qualifying review
16.04.2016
Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit 2016   Event:  Qualifying for the Chinese Grand PrixDate:  Saturday, April 16Location:  Shanghai International CircuitLayout:  5.451-kilome more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Chinese GP qualifying review
16.04.2016
2016 CHINESE GRAND PRIX at Shanghai International CircuitSaturday, April 16th 2016  Carlos Sainz (STR11-02, Car 55)Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:58.800, pos. 4th, 9 lapsQualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:37.656, ( more >>
Sahara Force India F1 Chinese GP qualifying review
16.04.2016
2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix: Qualifying Shanghai International CircuitSaturday, April 16th 2016 Sahara Force India showed good pace in today’s qualifying session with Sergio Perez set to start tomor more >>
F1 Chinese GP qualifying result
16.04.2016
F1 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International CircuitSaturday, April 16th 20161     6     Nico Rosberg     Mercedes     1:37.669     1:36.240    more >>
F1 Chinese GP Free Practice 3 result
16.04.2016
F1 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International CircuitSaturday, April 16th 20161     5     Sebastian Vettel     Ferrari     1:57.351         32 & more >>
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 China GP practices
15.04.2016
2016 Chinese Grand Prix - Friday , April 15th 2016Shanghai International Circuit Bright and breezy start for the Silver Arrows in Shanghai •    Nico topped the morning session with Lewis ju more >>
Williams Martini Racing F1 China GP practices
15.04.2016
Chinese GP at Shanghai International CircuitFriday, April 15th 2016 Objectives: Aero evaluations, set-up and tyre work. Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: It was a difficult morning for us more >>
Red Bull Racing F1 China GP practices review
15.04.2016
China Grand Prix 2016 at Shanghai International CircuitFriday, April 15th 2016DANIEL RICCIARDOFirst Practice Session: Position: 4, Best Time: 1:39.061, Laps: 13Second Practice Session: Position: 5, Best Time: more >>
Renault Sport F1 China GP practices review
15.04.2016
2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix, Friday 15 April 2016 Renault Sport Formula One Team experienced a mixed day of running for the 2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit. more >>
McLaren Honda F1 China GP practices review
15.04.2016
2016 Chinese Grand Prix – free practice at Shanghai International CircuitFriday, April 15th 2016 “I've really missed driving the car in the last 26 days!”A hard-to-read day of practice. T more >>
Sauber F1 Team China GP practices
15.04.2016
Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix – Practice – FridayWeather: FP1: dry and sunny, 21-25°C air, 34-44°C track; FP2: dry and sunny/overcast, 27-24 °C air, 45-38 °C track.Overall, the Sauber F1 more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 China GP practices review
15.04.2016
2016 CHINA GRAND PRIX – Shanghai International CircuitFriday, April 15th 2016  Max Verstappen (STR11-01, Car 33)First Practice SessionBest lap: 1:40.232, pos. 10th, 13 lapsSecond Practice SessionBes more >>
Haas F1 Chinese GP Friday practices review
15.04.2016
Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit Event:  Free Practice 1 (FP1) and Free Practice 2 (FP2)Date:  Friday, April 15Location:  Shanghai International CircuitLayout:  5.451-kilometer (3.387-m more >>

Kategorien

2001-2022 automobilsport.com full copyright