Has overtaking in Formula One become devalued?

Has overtaking in Formula One become devalued?

  • Yes

    Votes: 12 30.0%
  • No

    Votes: 11 27.5%
  • Unsure

    Votes: 5 12.5%
  • A little

    Votes: 12 30.0%

  • Total voters
    40

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
I've knocked up a quick chart based on the Turkey overtaking figures comparing starting and finishing positions and then number of overtakes.

View attachment 1478

It is showing how most of overtaking didn't really change anything, the only exceptions being Kobayashi and Buemi. The two drivers who did the most overtaking actually went backwards during the race.

This analysis has pretty much made my mind up, the improved overtaking has no relevance on the race result but makes the race more interesting to watch.
Nice chart, F1Y.
I have two reservations on your conclusions though:
a. The chart doesn't show up the effect of a driver losing a places, either off the grid or through a spin, penalty etc. then overtaking perhaps several cars to make their way back to their original position. A minor example of this would be Hamilton, who you could say had an effective starting position of 6th, not 4th, for the purpose of this exercise (a better example would be his 2006 Turkish GP2 race, where he spun on lap 2 from 6th place, re-joined in 18th and then overtook the field again, including Timo Glock and title rival Nelson Piquet to finish 2nd). Maybe an extra column for 'lowest position held during the race' would help, but then again that would be falsified by pit stops anyway.
b. The simple fact that the nearer a driver is to the front row, the fewer opportunities he will have to make overtakes anyway. So the drivers who start and finish high up the order, unless they drop back and make places back up as in (a), will always have relatively few overtakes to their name. Webber for instance may have had only two overtakes at Turkey, starting and finishing 2nd, but his figures for China would have looked a lot different.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
b. The simple fact that the nearer a driver is to the front row, the fewer opportunities he will have to make overtakes anyway. So the drivers who start and finish high up the order, unless they drop back and make places back up as in (a), will always have relatively few overtakes to their name. Webber for instance may have had only two overtakes at Turkey, starting and finishing 2nd, but his figures for China would have looked a lot different.

I do not believe that the statistics are meant to compare drivers with drivers, as with any other statistics on this site.
However, your example of Hamilton at GP2 in Turkey in 2006 is a good one. I think we should be capable of matching the bald statistics with what happened on track, though!
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
So judging from the poll results, we're all in agreement here? :D

I was watching Spain 91 last night and there was an overtake near the end of the race that I thought deserved a little attention. Barcelona 1991 is usually remembered for Mansell and Senna screaming down the pit straight, inches apart, sparks flying from the heavy fuel loads. But in the overall scheme of the race, that move was completely irrelevant. They were both still on wet tires, and when they came in to change (much too late for Hunt's liking), the McLaren crew turned Senna around faster and so he took the position right back from ol' Nige.

The truly important, and possibly Championship altering move came on Lap 50. Jean Alesi had been following Senna for about 8-10 laps, with Ayrton trying to hold on and salvage 3 points in what had been a pretty tough race for him. With Mansell leading the race easily, the Championship battle would be drawing ever closer if Senna gave away another point to Alesi.


I guess I don't have much of a point here, I just thought it was a cool overtake.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
And continuing with the overtake theme, I think it would be good for everybody to see some 80's style overtakes from one Keijo Rosberg. At Kyalami 85, Keke picked off Senna, de Angelis, Piquet, and Mansell in just a handful of laps after dropping back at the start. What is interesting to me is how Kyalami and Turkey have a similar kink/straight combo. A fast kink leading uphill with the straight eventually going downhill is a perfect recipe for overtaking.

 

Andyoak

Champion Elect
I have to say unsure at the moment because it is too early to say.
We've all been lamenting the loss of overtaking for the last 10 years and now we have it back we moan that it is too easy. TBY had a great point comparing China and Turkey and that hits the crux of the problem in my view.
If Vettel wasn't running away with it and we had overtaking to wn the race we'd all by happy as pigs... we're not because what we see isn't deciding what counts: the championship.

Give it time... it could still be good.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
The comparison with the 80's turbo cars in an interesting one as all these cars (until the later years) had variable turbo boost which had a similar effect to KERS today. The turbo cars would burn through tyres meaning you had cars on worn rubber battling with cars on new rubber (any of this sound familiar). The only difference today is the DRS system which appears to overcome the problems F1 has had for many years when cars are following one another.

What's not to like at the moment? Apart from being a bit confused as to who is where in the race I've thoroughly enjoyed the season so far. Let's see what the usual bore fest that is Spanish Grand Prix throws up.
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
Snowy makes a good point actually. Lewis' race wasn't compromised because he couldn't overtake but the fact he ran wide on lap 1. This allowed the Red Bulls and Alonso to scamper away from him and by the time he got into 4th it was too late.

A car can be good in qualy trim but not so in the race. As TBYs qualifying 'championship' shows, qualifying doesn't necessarily mean points or wins.

Effectively what I'm saying is the current rules give the faster car (in the race) a much better chance of some clean air than in previous seasons and thus less chance of them being stuck in a midfield (backmarker) battle for too long - although I doubt Felipe will agree with me after Turkey...
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Hi all - long time listener, first time poster. Some of you may know me from over in 606.

I'm not sure whether or not overtaking has been devalued or not but all signs point to a little, however what worries me most is that F1 may have completely lost the art of defending a position which to me is equally exciting.

How many exciting races have we seen in the past where a faster car has been behind and its been the pure skill of the driver in front that has kept them behind? Like most I agree that it had become far too difficult for drivers to past but believe the ability to defend your position needs to be there too. Rememeber Alonso keeping Schumi behind him in 2005? Senna stopping Mansell in 1992? Boutson keeping a whole train of drivers behind him in 1990? It creates just as an exciting race as someone carving their way through the field. We don't seem to have seen anyone showing any sign of defence this year - the only one I can think of is Vettel in China magnificantly putting his car in exactly the right place so that Hamilton couldn't use his extra grip and speed out the first corner in China. Even then Seb still eventually gave up because he didn't see the point.

Schumacher being of the old school attempts it too but it usually ends in a collision which brings the question is there any point defending your position in F1 anymore or are you just going to wreck your race?
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Its a very good point.All we could bitch about was Alonso not passing Petrov in Abu Dhabi.Petrov had higher top speed.But Alonso had a faster car.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Hi and welcome Rasputin, of course I remember you from 606. :thumbsup:

Good point you make there; I am also concerned about the difficulties drivers face in being able to defend their position these days. Putting together the DRS, fast-degrading tyres and ever stricter enforcement of the 'one defensive move' rule (except for Vettel at the start), the sort of battles you refer to are in danger of becoming extinct.
Anyway, from next season the rumour is that the DRS will be superseded by a much simpler and cheaper device - the showing of a blue flag to the car in front.
 
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