Overtaking more than doubles in 2011

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Overtaking figures jump in 2011.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Overtakings increase hugely in F1 (Daily Telegraph)

“Sources within the Mercedes team suggest that official statistics show 623 instances of overtaking so far this season, more than the 547 from 19 races in 2010 and 244 from 17 races in 2009.”

BBC face 50m Formula One Bill (Daily Express)

“Sky TV have […] had a senior executive at a recent Grand Prix as the companies await a decision from the BBC, who are reviewing their sports budget. Cutting the popular F1 races would save the BBC about 60m-a-year, but it would leave a massive hole in their viewing figures.”

British Grand Prix race edit video

Official video from F1.com.

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

GeeMac comments on a problem that was much on my mind writing the “Driver Rankings” article:

The perpetual F1 ranking problem: Whether to say that a quality driver in a car which is miles faster than the rest is doing the best job out there. In 2009 when Button did the same thing Vettel is doing now, we all said it was down to the car, in 2011, its down to Vettel. I’m confused.

While Vettel has been mighty, I’m still far more impressed with Alonso who is dragging everything he can and more out of the 150 (silly symbol) Italia.
GeeMac

From the forum

Calum wants to know What would you change about the look of current F1 cars?

Article faults

I’ve had a spot of trouble recently with articles not publishing correctly, which is why the article “New rules produced most popular races in four years” was taken down yesterday and has not yet been restored.

Another article, “2011 half season driver rankings part 1: 26-16“, was also affected and has now been repaired.

Apologies for the inconvenience. I am working on a solution to the problem and restoring the missing article. No comments have been lost.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to K and Steve!

On this day in F1

Happy birthday to the last woman to compete in F1, Giovanna Amati, who is 49 today.

Amati made three unsuccessful attempts to qualify the hopeless Brabham BT60B in 1992, before being dropped and replaced by Damon Hill.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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68 comments on “Overtaking more than doubles in 2011”

  1. The New Hope
    20th July 2011, 0:11

    I’m glad to see more overtaking.

  2. Michael Griffin
    20th July 2011, 0:13

    Re the COTD:

    I think in 09, Button was the reason behind his wins, but that was because the car was exactly how he liked it. When development was down to almost nothing from Turkey onwards, he fell back through the field gradually. When the car was suited to a certain track, he did well, like Monza where he finished second. When he simply had to drive like a loon, he excelled, like Brazil.

    With Vettel, he just seems so at ease with himself, the tyres AND the car. Difference too is, Webber hasn’t got on top of the combination of car+tyres completely yet, whereas Button had already been pushed hard by Barrichello for one of his six wins during the 09 season (Spain).

    Button fan btw :)

    1. Button was the reason behind his wins, but that was because the car was exactly how he liked it

      With a double diffuser?

      1. Mike Griffin
        20th July 2011, 5:38

        No, with grip. Haven’t you heard him moan?

        1. Sush Meerkat
          20th July 2011, 7:51

          the 2009 Brawn machine (a marvel of a car) had the balance that Button loves, it also didn’t have MASSIVE FRONT LOCKING.

          My front door has a MASSIVE FRONT LOCK, and sometimes I’m late for work trying to open it, so I can see where Button is coming from.

          1. That’s just brilliant!

          2. I like what you did there. I do think I agree that the Brawn car was the car Button needed, and the car he could use to show his best in.

            Not saying McLaren don’t give him a car he can fly in, on the right occasion.

    2. In 2009 when Button did the same thing Vettel is doing now, we all said it was down to the car, in 2011, its down to Vettel.

      I dont think that people are giving Vettel all the praise, and none to the RB7. I think they are giving him credit for maximising the car’s potential with a ridiculous amount of consistency. I think there were a few key differences between Button’s 2009 season and Vettel’s 2011 season.

      Firstly, the fact that Jenson Button was outscored by his less illustrious teammate in the 2nd half of the season. And lets face it… Rubens is not the most intimidating of teammates. Once Jenson started finishing off the podium, the general consensus was that the car was not good enough, when in fact, his teammate was winning races with the same car.

      Secondly, Jenson only got two podiums in 10 races. During the 2nd half of the season (last 9-10 races), Brawn was still, on an average, the 2nd fastest car on the grid, but unless the car was absolutely perfect, Jenson wouldn’t shine. Vettel, since 2008, has shown that he could take even an average car and maximise its potential consistently. Jenson on the other hand, has had various periods of slacking in his career.

      1. lets wait for the second half of the season to unfold before comparing Button’s 2009 season and vettel’s 2011.

        vettel’s nerves will only be tested if another team outdevelops the RB7 and he, as the championhsip leader, will be chased down by his rivals with quicker cars. Only then we can compare that to 2009 where clearly Mclaren and Redbull had faster cars and collected more points than both Brawn drivers. We dont know how vettel would cope in that situation.

    3. As soon as Barrichello found the car suitable for himself, he won two races despite increased challenge from the Red Bulls, and Button was behind Rubens more often. Button won when he had the best car, Rubens won with the second-best car.

      1. As I posted earlier in the driver ratings, the faster you drive the more chance you have of making a mistake,the last half of Buttons 09 season merely demonstrated that Button was very cautious in protecting his championship lead, actually overcautious as it made him a sitting duck for any aggressive driver. Ultimately it was a successful tactic for Button, less so for Brawn.
        Something Webber should have given more thought before Korea last year, but then he did not have the team support Button had at Brawn.

  3. In 2009 when Button did the same thing Vettel is doing now, we all said it was down to the car, in 2011, its down to Vettel. I’m confused.

    There are plenty people who think Vettel’s just an average driver winning in the best car. And I’m sure there were people who thought Button was proving himself to be the next Senna when he was at BrawnGP. So it goes both ways.

    1. It is neither the car, nor the driver that wins championships. It’s the driver driving the car. Only when these two elements are of high quality and in perfect sync, the titles are won. No driver can win titles in sub-par machinery and no car can show its potential when driven by an underachiever.
      Of course there are cars so good that can flatter their drivers, as well as drivers that can overdrive mediocre cars and make their designers look good. But even these exceptions have their limits…

      1. several cars throughout F1 history were so far ahead the rest that even an average driver could have won the championship. If the package is so superior the others have no chance even if they have more talent. there is only so much you can make up as a driver, and even multiple world champions strugle in bad cars. yes they have rces where they bring it up to a place where it doesnt deserve to be, but when talking about championships and consistency this is as you say just an exception. So I’d say that you dont necessarily need a top class driver to win a champinship if the package is much faster and more reliable than the opposition (which happened several times in f1)

        Of course eventualy the best drivers end up in the fastest cars, but you can have odd years before the status quo is restored and a chance for a driver like J. Villneuve to win a WDC.

    2. Button the next senna???

      -Dont make me laugh!!

      Button only won when others where held back by their cars and button didnt have any competition – but as soon as they got their cars dialed in button was no where!! He even got consistantly beaten by his ‘doormat’ of a team mate Rubens in the 2nd half of the season.
      It was even widely said through the paddock during that time that button also couldnt handle the pressure during the 2nd half of the season – something of which he also aluded to once the season came to a close. Button didnt even develop that brawn – Even at the 1st winter test the car was perfect even before button stepped into the car – It was all down to that double-difuser thanks to the designers.

      For a supposed champ button is very limited in his talent and is very ‘one-dimensional’ in how he dominates – he just has the same one tool in his toolbox which he always tries to use…maybe in one of 20 races he might luck in…but its a strategy that fails more than it succeeds.
      -Also hes dull as dish-water to watch.

      This all proves that button is nothing spectacular – For a pro driver to keep underperforming in a car which is less to his satisfaction is not the sign of a true great. Only a true great has the ability to also perform magic in a dog of a car – something that button is not able to do.

      Button is one of the luckiest & jammiest of drivers on the grid – thats why now hes more focussed on playing the safe & popularity contest with the media and F1 paddock so that they can exaggerate on his talents & paint a false picture of him being up there with the best just because they like him – whereas in reality hes not (amongst the best – the likes of schumacher, webber, rosberg & kubica are much better).

      1. Schumacher a few years ago, yes. Webber, no. Rosberg and Kubica, who have not even won a race on their own merit (Canada 08 being an absolute gift thanks to Hamilton), definitely not.

        I don’t think drivers’ personalities are that important, the results on the track speak for themselves. But if we are talking personalities Rosberg and Kubica hardly stand out.

        1. +1. Schumacher is not performing well sadly. Webber cracked under the title pressure last year with that Korean mistake and rubbish pace in Abu Dhabi. Kubica and Rosberg haven’t proven anything.

          Button has a world title and 10 wins to his name, and is close to Hamilton at the moment. I know who I’d rather be (I’d rather be Schumacher, then Button over the other 3).

          1. I agree with David A.

  4. Calum wants to know What would you change about the look of current F1 cars?

    I would change the look of current F1 cars by burning about half of the rule book.

    You want huge tires? Done?
    Big, flappy wings? No wings? Perfect.
    Flat floors? You got it.
    25,000 RPM V-12 engine? Have at it.

    1. Why bother, just throw away all of it, dig up as many old cars as you can and let them race in those :-D

      The best moment in Silverstone for me was seeing Alonso win but a very close second was when he was driving a 60 year old car. I’d pay money to see him race against Schumacher in an old Merc :-D

      1. I would change the look of current F1 cars by burning about half of the rule book.

        That is a recipe for disaster.

        I’d pay money to see him race against Schumacher in an old Merc.

        That is an idea. Brilliant!

        1. like that very much as well!

    2. i want scissor doors and a convertible model of the f1 car with metal roof. Also, I want Bling rims on the tyres! :D

  5. More on the F1 canopy story:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/14199629

    I think the difference between Button’s championship and this year is that the performance gap was much greater. At the beginning of ’09 Button had at least half a second a lap advantage in the race, whereas this year’s Red Bull is a couple of tenths at most.

    That’s not to say Button was average in ’09, but you get the feeling you could put a lot of drivers in that position and they’d get the same result, in my opinion there are few drivers who could perform consistently under the pressure Vettel has been under this year.

    1. What about barrichello he didn’t get a win till mid season and he had the same car? It wasn’t like he was always second either.

      Need I remind you also that in australia this year sebastian had 8 tenths of a second to hamilton who started 2nd. It’s a commonly held belief in the paddock that sebastian has only been driving as fast as he has had to in the races. What’s the point in going flat out destroying your tyres, then having a safety car come out getting rid of the gap you’ve built up and putting the rest of the field onto your tail. With fresher unabused tyres.

      Finally what pressure is sebastian under? The current stats interteam are 8/9 to seb in qualy and 9/9 in race finishes out of team it’s still 6/9 to seb v *the whole field*. Ontop of which he has an 80 point lead in the championship and he won it last year which takes all the pressure off a driver. Ontop of that unlike button who knew full well that once the other teams had copyed the brawn magic bullet. He might be in trouble, sebastian has no such fears because the redbull car is simply good because it’s good. That car wont be down in 15 place by spa for all the tea in china!

      1. What about barrichello he didn’t get a win till mid season and he had the same car? It wasn’t like he was always second either.

        Yes, what I meant was there are plenty of drivers that could beat Barrichello consistently, especially as he was struggling more with the car early-season.

        Need I remind you also that in australia this year sebastian had 8 tenths of a second to hamilton who started 2nd.

        I said race pace for a reason, and I think what I said stands.

        Finally what pressure is sebastian under?

        I meant pressure in races, from other drivers up his gearbox. This coincides with quote 2 so if you dont agree with that, this one wont make sense.

        1. “Yes, what I meant was there are plenty of drivers that could beat Barrichello consistently, especially as he was struggling more with the car early-season.”

          You mean for instance a gp 2 champion like o say hulkenburg or maldonado?

          “drivers up his gearbox.”

          That’s happened at only 4 races out of 9 so far in 2011. One of which was at monaco where the only way fernando was getting past was if he went over seb. So really that’s 3 out of 9.

          By the end of 2009 jb had half the field ahead of him for about 10 races and *had* to score points to become champion. Leading the championship and seeing week after week your lead being whittled away as the boss tells you sorry we’re done with this year. Win it or bin it. Then the press start calling you a unhinged talent-lost nearly man. Qualifying 14th at the penultimate race of the year knowing you need to make up 9 places to secure the title. That is pressure.

          “This coincides with quote 2 so if you dont agree with that, this one wont make sense.”

          “I said race pace for a reason, and I think what I said stands.”

          Funny old thing that mclaren seemed to have the faster race car at points this year but their drivers aren’t even in the top 3 in the championship at the moment. Also if you had actually read my post you would have seen this.

          “It’s a commonly held belief in the paddock that sebastian has only been driving as fast as he has had to in the races.”

          1. That’s happened at only 4 races out of 9 so far in 2011. One of which was at monaco where the only way fernando was getting past was if he went over seb. So really that’s 3 out of 9.

            Or, Vettel easily could have been pressured into an error (with his older tyres than Alonso and Button), which is punished with the bitter taste of armco. He under incredible pressure in that race.

          2. Qualifying 14th at the penultimate race of the year knowing you need to make up 9 places to secure the title. That is pressure.

            Button pressurised himself at Brazil. Considering that his teammate took pole at the same race, Button has only himself to blame for qualifying 14th on the grid. A key difference between Vettel 2011 and Button 2009 is that Vettel will not allow himself to be in that position even if his car was suddenly losing its dominance. Button lost focus and slacked, something that we wouldn’t expect at all from Vettel.

          3. Hey, he slipped up in Canada. He is far from invincible.

            That and we haven’t actually seen Vettel in a less dominant car… (Barring his mistake prone stint in the Torro Rosso.)

      2. About Barrichello and 2009:

        Australia – throttle problem, lost many places at start
        Malaysia – 5 places penalty on grid, because of preventative gearbox change
        Bahrain – weird 3 stop strategy
        Spain – 3 stop strategy /masked team orders, because he was leading the race/
        Turkey – throttle + gearbox problem, DNF
        Germany – lost 4,5 second in pit, 2 places on track
        Hungary – mechanical issue in Q2, he wasn t able to continue
        Belgium – throttle problem at start + oil leak at the end, was happy to even finish the race
        Singapore – preventative gearbox change, lost 5 places on grid
        Brasil – puncture while battling with Hamilton, from 3th dropped down to 8th…

        Enough?

        1. Not enough. Stuff like that just sums up Barrichello’s career, which is why he will never be a champion.

          1. Unless Williams make a great car next year.

            Very, (very) Unlikely, but possible.

            Oh and… Yeah… You do realize most of that wasn’t actually his fault right? You are aware things like this, can happen to anyone?

          2. So, that was his fault? :o Unbelievable…

    2. Are they going to line the insides of the propesed new covered cock pits with cotton wool?

    3. I guess the difference is mainly with Vettel having had quick success since entering F1, whereas Button had quite a few years of being promising but not the real deal before he got his hands on that Brawn and proved his skill with the right tool.

      1. You do have a point, but I feel its more than just this season that people are judging Vettel and Button on.

        Vettel has shown right from his 1st race in 2007 that he is a great talent. In 2008, he took a midfield car stuck it on pole and took a pole to flag victory. This is something that Button was/is never capable of doing. Vettel’s early rise to a top drive was very well deserved, as he had shown signs of doing much more even when he had an inferior car.

        Button was also impressive in first couple of seasons in F1, but never really showed the kind of potential and raw talent that Vettel has shown. If Button was impressive enough, he would have definitely been picked up by one of the top teams at the time. The truth is that Button only got better over the years because he has matured mentally, and not because he has improved his skill, or proved himself as an outstanding talent.

        1. Lee Harrison
          20th July 2011, 17:15

          If Button was impressive enough, he would have definitely been picked up by one of the top teams at the time

          One of the top teams (Williams) did actually nearly sign him for 2005, when they were still a top team.

  6. In other news looks like bernie is cream crackerd.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/8648669/Formula-One-chief-executive-Bernie-Ecclestone-formally-accused-of-paying-bribe.html

    Don’t know how to feel about that really, what ever people say he is good for the sport. If he’s guilty though no one should get away with that and it looks like he is.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      20th July 2011, 9:00

      This has been rumbling on for some time with direct accusations and reasoning in some of the press reporting. This particular article in the Telegraph appears to have back-peddled on the reason for the bribe-

      It is unclear why Ecclestone would wish to have bribed Gribkowsky although one theory is that the German was battling in court for greater control of the sport back in 2005 prior to BayernLB’s sale of its stake.

      Whereas in previous coverage it was alleged that the sale price of the BayernLB holding was considerably undervalued to the benefit of CVC and that Gribkowksy (a former chief risk officer for state-owned BayernLB) was instrumental in asisting in that undervaluation. By saving the purchaser several hundred million, GG might have been able to extract a large ‘Thank you’ from the purchaser. Allegedly.

      1. Its based on the Munich prosecution now (finally) pressing official charges against Gribowsky (and mentioning Bernie in the documents), which was nicely timed to get into the German GP build up coverage by said prosecutors.

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          20th July 2011, 12:50

          Bas, do you mean it was deliberately timed to coincide with the GP by the prosecutors?
          If so, is it just to show efficient the prosecutor’s are – and is there a local election on the way?

          1. I think it is about how the prosecution works. Not too sure about when the next election is up, but these regionals are pretty often.

      2. HounslowBusGarage
        20th July 2011, 9:45

        Sorry, I ,missed out this link
        http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,738633,00.html#ref=nlint
        which is the English language version of the Der Siegel coverage from Jan this year.

  7. Sadly the Championship battle isn’t as interesting as last year. Or 2009 for that matter.

    Still won’t stop me watching Formula 1 however. :)

    1. I’d rather have exciting races than an interesting title battle…at least for the time being.

      1. ‘Yeah, great race after great race will get me tuning in regardless of Vettel’s dominance.

      2. Glad to know we have not been deprived of the former :)

    2. 2009 was hellishly boring. The initial shock at the first race was about all that season had going for it.

  8. Vettels been doing exactly what he needs to

    Prost. “The best way to win a race is at the slowest possible speed” Aus, Mal, Tur and Eur were perfect exapmle of this, the car is fast enough that he can just cruise to victory and gets all the credit, when the guys who are putting the car on the limit (wich leads to crashes) Alonso and Hamilton come home mid points.

    But what is Vettel meant to do? he’s taken poles and wins because the car can. doesnt mean I would hire him over a Alonso or a Hamilton coz he hasnt proven anything to me, and thats my oppion.

    1. Sounds like Prost vs Senna to me, “easy does it” vs “get every single km/h out of it”

  9. I agree with Enzo Ferrari when he said that is down to 50% car and 50% driver. I recall reading that Fangio thought it was 75% car and 25% driver, but perhaps he was trying to be modest.

    1. In Enzo Ferrari’s day that was probably true. Now days the driver % is probably a lot smaller.

    2. In vettel’s case 99.9% car 0.1% driver
      Alonso 50% car 50% driver

      1. So where does that leave Webber?

      2. Riiight. If 0.1% is driver, then how come Vettel have 61% more points then Webber?

  10. Not that I’m keeping score, but that’s COTD number 3. ;)

  11. On this day: 2008 German GP. Lewis Hamilton dominates despite mid-race safety car to win. Piquet Jr records his only F1 podium in 2nd with Massa 3rd.

    It was Hamilton’s 4th win of the year, 8th career win.

  12. In other news, Mr. Gribowsky was charged with taking bribes for the sale to CVC.
    And it seems they have a case prepared by now to accuse Bernie E as well. Bringing out the news nicely in time for the German GP, as expected!

  13. With the BBC ditching F1, I read that James Allen (on his blog) feels this is seriously looking at being in negotiatons and could end the deal a year short of the original contract, at the end of 2012!

  14. According to the Telegraph article, only 29 percent of all passes were made using the DRS. I believe that the total proportion of DRS passes is actually higher. Because there have definitely been some passes where the DRS played an indirect role. Using DRS always gives a speed advantage even if it doesn’t result in a successful overtaking manouvre every time when a driver presses the button. I mean, DRS can help one stay close to the car in the front and overtake it later in the lap. It’s probably impossible to tell the exact number of such passes but I am sure that there have been some.

  15. I’m guessing about a third of those overtakes offered little suspense and unpredictably, though…

    1. Not necessarily. China had DRS spot on. It added something, in my opinion.

  16. more overtaking: yea, with KERS and DRS. I’m sorry but first the KERS: not a bad idea, kind of like the push-to-pass. Then the DRS: is F1 getting closer to a show than actual racing? i won’t be surprised if they come up with mounted machine guns or something like that. Just bring the cars back to ’06 configuration…

  17. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    20th July 2011, 22:08

    I don’t know if this reply it’s placed right.. but I agree when you say a good car needs a good driver to get the championship.
    Examples?
    RAIKKONEN (great) + McLaren (lack of consistency that time) = FAIL
    WILLIAMS 2001 (Great)+ Ralf Schumacher (good but not enough) = Didn’t get the championships

  18. Can we have a race with 2011 cars and no DRS please, to prove that it is unnecessary and very, very weak sauce compared to the active-anywhere-when-within-1-second DRS that was the original Working Group’s vision.

    If the DRS management system could cope with that as an activation criteria then fair enough, it would negate the dirty air problem. As currently implemented it’s just interfering with the best season of racing in recent memory.

    You cannot call DRS this season “an experiment” (their words) unless you have a control race, without it.

    My vote’s Korea…

  19. With regards to the COTD, the way you can judge a performance is by making comparisons to his team mate. This explains why Vettel and Alonso were 1 and 2 respectively.

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