“Potentially more overtaking” with new 2017 tyres

2017 F1 season

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Red Bull’s chief engineer has challenged the view that increased downforce levels will lead to less overtaking in 2017.

Many, including Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey, have claimed the larger wings introduced this year could make overtaking more difficult.

New rules means worse racing in 2017? Not necessarily
However chief engineer Paul Monaghan believes the new tyres Pirelli have been asked to produce tyres, which are both wider and more durable, could counteract that effect.

“The tyres themselves, if they are more durable than previous generations, then I think it will change the racing,” said Mongahan.

“Not necessarily for the worse, I think for the better. I think we will have potentially more overtaking.”

Pirelli have also warned that rising downforce levels may have an effect on the quality of racing in 2017. Data from Formula One’s official tyre supplier indicated there were 53% more passes last year than in 2016.

Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics Dan Fallows also pointed out it the increase in downforce this year could have beneficial effects.

“The more downforce cars produce the more they can be affected by other cars in terms of their drag,” he said.

“So it could be that cars are able to run closer behind another car to use the slipstream down the straight, so overtaking in that sense could actually be easier.”

Red Bull will reveal their 2017 Formula One car, the RB13, on Sunday.

Get all the 2017 F1 race, test and launch dates on your mobile device using the F1 Fanatic Calendar

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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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27 comments on ““Potentially more overtaking” with new 2017 tyres”

  1. Overtaking or not, I look forward to seeing competitive fast driving in 2017

  2. Hey, more overtaking on straights, that’s exactly what we’re looking for!

    Number of overtakes is a terrible statistic to look at. I’d love to see the average gap, or particularly the average minimum gap be used as a more reliable statistic into the quality of racing.

    It’s one thing being able to get close on a straight and make the pass just like we see with DRS, it’s another to have a car closely following another around the entire circuit providing more opportunities to capitalise on driver errors.

    1. However I do agree the number of overtakes is not a good measure, I think your alternative is not much better. We had quite a few seasons where cars could follow eachother quite closely, but passing was in fact impossible. Your statistic would look could, but all we would be looking at is another infamous “Trulli train”.

    2. Um yeah this could be an interesting statistic to work out! Hey Keith! :P

      But yes like Ronald said, having Trulli trains that no one can pass and close racing then passing aren’t quite the same thing. So perhaps this stat analysed together with the total number of non-DRS overtake could give a better picture of ‘quality/enjoyable’ racing.

  3. “The more downforce cars produce the more they can be affected by other cars in terms of their drag,” he said.

    I’m no expert, nor I’m employed by one of the leading companies in motorsport, but I remember 2004 had massive amounts of downforce and almost no overtaking.

    The only think that will probably make a vast difference is DRS, because presumably if there’s more drag, opening the DRS means a bigger advantage than before.

    1. @fer-no65 It’s RB they can’t admit they’ve lobbied for more downforce. RB knows what they’re doing, he’s not lying that these cars shall produce more drag. We however know that it doesn’t matter that slipstreaming will become easier if you can’t get to follow another car close through most of the track.

  4. @Keith When you write “53% more passes last year than in 2016”, I think you meant 2015.

    1. When you write @Keith, I think you meant @keithcollatine!

        1. @Mashiat, yes, thanks!

  5. That’s one pearler of a committal statement that is…

    …as someone who has been closely involved with American politics in the past year, my capacity for blinkered optimism is spent. Who are we kidding? The scores are on the doors. Just as Trump’s new-found Republican chums will learn that the guy is actually mentally disturbed, we will learn once and for all that listening to powerbroker teams on matters of F1 technical reform is an assured route to Grand Prix dystopia.

    Opening up the aerodynamic regulations has already cost us one team before the season has even started, and according to those who should know, it will also mean the field will be even more spread out (so get used to seeing combinations of the same four drivers on the podium this season) and overtaking will go from immensely challenging to virtually impossible. The logic checks out: (1) because aerodynamic is an eye-wateringly expensive game of trial-and-error the richer teams have an immense advantage, (2) aero wake limits overtaking, more aero = more aero wake = less overtaking.

    Hopefully F1’s new governors will have the gumption to take the bull by the horns (quite literally) if F1’s latest lab experiment produces little more than a study in the patience of its core viewership.

    1. Everything happens for a reason, even if F1 itself (or the US for that matter) ultimately fails to learn from its mistakes and burns to the ground, whatever rises from the ashes will be all the better for it.

    2. @william-brierty, More precisely, aero-wake limits the ability of aero-dependent cars to follow closely through a corner/bend and as all straights are preceded by a corner/bend aero-dependent cars have difficulty getting close enough to the car ahead to benefit from drafting in the low pressure turbulent wake directly behind the leading car, this year that wake-effect will be a lot greater than last, and maybe, just maybe, the bigger and better(hopefully) tyres combined with what we are told will be cars less effected by turbulence will allow cars to be close enough at the beginning of the straight to use the draft to compensate for ground lost in corners.

      But Adrian Newey, who claims to know a bit about aero, doesn’t think so.

      1. @hohum – To be even more precise, versus 2016, when aero-wake was already highly problematic for overtaking, the effects are likely to be markedly compounded by the apex-speed of the cars. The combination of both the increase in downforce and the wider tyres will dramatically increase the speed the cars are able to take to the apex. This has two key implications for overtaking.

        The first is the higher the speed of the car at the minimum speed phase of the corner, the less likely there is to be dramatic speed differentials on the exit. We have often see an undercut on the exit of the slow-speed T4 at Bahrain, but the exit of Pouhon has seldom seen much action. And of course, the mid-exit phase of the corner has marked implications for the following car’s ability to get close enough to make a move at the next corner.

        The second and most important implication is that a greater mass of air is passing over the aerodynamic surfaces because of the greater apex-speeds. Versus 2016 the apex-speed delta between the attacking and the defending car with be much greater, both because the defending car is expelling more hot, turbulent air, but also because the attacking car needs more colder, denser air to match the apex-speeds of the defending car.

        That, in tandem with the fact that there is likely to be mechanical grip parity between the attacker and the defender due to the tyre durability, is why those claim to know a bit about aero don’t think a more powerful draft is going to make much difference.

  6. Source of the quotes:

    Maybe this can be integrated in the article? @keithcollantine

    1. I saw it elsewhere. RB released this video to media outlets, by tomorrow it shall be on their youtube channel aswell.

      Again on what Monaghan was saying about the tyres, he really must be an optimist. With a decrease on the tyre grip differential, even less scope for overtaking is available. The only scenario where it would be good for the tyre to be more enduring is if RB is stuck behind traffic, not on a one on one level scrap.

  7. One possible effect of more durable tyres is a lessening of the undercut, so drivers (teams) might be more willing to try to overtake on-track. Of course the flipside is less of a time delta between new and old tyres so it’s harder to overtake, and if you pit early you’re more likely to get stuck in traffic, so it could limit strategies…

  8. Better, more durable tyres that wont melt at the 1st hint of sideslip is the single greatest improvement that F1 could introduce to improve the racing, even if nothing else changed the improvement would be massive, we just have to hope that the bigger wings and wider cars don’t negate that improvement

    1. @hohum Look at 2010 and then look at 2011. Overtaking improved greatly, some say it was due to DRS, but it has been established on this site (I won’t bother to sift through the arcticles) that Pirelli did improve overtaking. The incredible starts of the 2012 and 2013 seasons, wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, as soon as RB and Mercedes made Pirelli either choose harder tyres as it was in 2012 or remake the tyres as in 2013 (after the blowouts) the overtaking decreased. The Pirelli tyres do limit the cars and teams, they haven’t been very good tyres, the reason why they’ve improved overtaking is that they’ve imposed an upper limit on performance, they plateau the field, particularly when they were constructed with a metal mesh for structure rather than aramide as they are now. The second reason to why these tyres help overtaking is the tyre delta being massive, the tyre delta of the Pirelli’s will easily overcome the amount of time a car needs to be quicker so that it can follow and overtake another car. In 2010 Vettel did all but one lap at Monza on the soft tyre, the degradation was so low that he won anyway. Now if this type of overtaking makes up for better racing, it’s subjective. It’s artificial to produce tyres to degrade, drs is artificial. I know what RBR want, they pushed the ban of refuelling on questionable cost saving rhetoric and they’ve constantly pushed for harder tyres that only they can warm up, RB as any other team really, they want pole, no pitstops, no misfortunes, no unpredictability, no risks.

      1. @peartree, Passing a sitting duck is not my idea of good racing, so DRS and clown tyre passing statistics don’t impress me at all, I wont care if LH wins every race so long as he is being harried and challenged all race long by his team mate and hopefully the RBRs and SFs who themselves are being harried and challenged by the other teams. An attempted pass that fails is far more exciting than a position change due to pitstop strategy or even DRS, or worn-out tyre passes.

        1. @hohum Yes agreed, but whilst worn out tyres are normal not worn out like 3 secs slower degradable tyres.

  9. One would think that the brains trust at these teams would just know if the changes are going to positive or negative as far as the racing is concerned wouldn’t you? 🙄🙄

    1. And the jury is still out on that. Some seem to only isolate aero and say more aero cannot be good. Some remember to point out the tires are completely different too, and that should help.

      Bottom line for me…we’ll have to just see how they do once they actually race in anger. As far as I know F1 was not trying nor expecting to get it perfect come race one. But the tires had to go. The cars had to be made faster. And this is the route the teams have agreed on. If it isn’t perfect, which was never their expectation nor will ever be achieved, they can tweek things for improvement. At least they’ll be on the right tires for a change going forward.

  10. I think it could be nice if half of the season was done with those new tires and half with those old tire compounds. Usually the best racing happens when there is some unpredictability and having the tire compounds be unknown until you have actually driven on them on the track on friday practise might create some interesting situations. Maybe even mix the tires so sometimes you get full bubblegum tire sets and other times you get full sets of hard racing hard racing tires. But say 66% of the time you get some bubblegum tires and some hard racing tires.

    Only issue is that there needs to be some kind of way to do it randomly so fia (or anybody) can’t choose the tires to spice up the show and give unfair benefit to one team who prefers certain kind of tires (to make them more competitive). So some kind of random draw system would be needed but this would not really work so well because logistically the tires need to be known weeks ahead so the right tires are there when the race weekend starts. Which kinda makes it difficult to have the tires be unknown until the race starts.

    Meh. I shot down my own idea…

    1. @socksolid, let’s just keep it simple and go with Bernies sprinklers instead. ;-)

  11. Maybe they think overtaking is racing. Sad…

  12. Members of this forum should have clubbed together and bought Manor. With the knowledge and insight available here we would be unbeatable.

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