“What overtaking?” Drivers say passing is now much harder

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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Formula One drivers said the first race of 2017 confirmed concerns its new rules have made it much more difficult to overtake.

Almost no overtaking took place after the first lap of the race which did not involve pit stops or team orders.

2017 Australian Grand Prix in pictures
“What overtaking?” said Felipe Massa when asked how difficult overtaking had been during race.

“I did on the start [but] the race is much more difficult to overtake.”

“For the driver it’s fun because the way you’re driving the car is quite fun. But definitely overtaking is more difficult than how it was.”

Max Verstappen, who had been optimistic about the prospects of overtaking before the season began, also admitted it had become more difficult.

“It was hard to follow and drive close behind others,” said Verstappen, who was challenging Kimi Raikkonen for fourth place at the end of the race. “I think as soon as you get within two seconds you can really feel it and could destroy your tyres.”

Another driver who experienced the turbulence generated when following another car was Valtteri Bottas.

“I was trying to get close but the problem is once you get within a couple of seconds you just lose so much grip in the corners,” he said, adding the problem was “definitely more than the years before.”

“Which is a shame,” he added. “It’s going to be difficult in places to battle with similar cars.”

Lewis Hamilton described the plan for increasing downforce as “the worst thing” when it was first proposed in 2015. He said his concerns have been vindicated.

“I know Formula One, it’s always generally been tough to follow [another car],” he said. “It’s definitely for me a lot worse, as I anticipated.”

“I hope that doesn’t mean that for the rest of the year it’s more of a train. I don’t know if it was more exciting for you guys to watch but for me personally I want to be closer up with cars and more close wheel-to-wheel battling.”

“It’s through pit stops that we’re racing now.”

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Keith Collantine
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113 comments on ““What overtaking?” Drivers say passing is now much harder”

  1. Can someone please explain to me when the 2009 season ruling that saw no chimneys/funnels/winglets/extra aero devices on the cars, to keep the aesthetics simple and decrease downforce, was overturned/ignored? They just slowly crept back onto the car and now the 2017 cars are just slightly wider 2008 cars with fat tyres.

    1. This is how F1 should be! Just make some alterations to DRS to compensate for the following car. At least we’re finally done with these drive-by-(cheers-)overtakes. And cars look good again! Some look look even better than the 2008 cars. Only the Mercedes looks awful with their T-Wing solution, it looks like an antenna! And F1 should still emphasize getting rid of those weird noses.

      Overall, I’m happy with the old F1 coming back. I don’t need many overtakes in a race. I prefer 1 true effort pass over 50 DRS passes.

      1. Ditch DRS simplify the wings

        DRS doesn’t help you follow the cars in the corners, is just a fix to reduce the gap in the straights, requires no talent whatsoever to overtake like that. It is fake, artificial, uninteresting and it creates the least exciting racing. It is a placebo basically

        1. Ah, so eliminate *ALL* passing from the races. Good idea!

          1. Should I congratulate you for understanding exactly what I meant, or are you going to congratulate yourself?

        2. they need the opposite of DRS. The following car can activated a switch that increases front and rear wing angle but can only be used through certain corners.

        3. Agree… And DRS is activated 1s behind, but drivers feel turbulence 2s behind… =/

      2. Designing formula racing rules to make the cars look good is the single stupidest idea I have ever heard in F1. How the cars look should only every be a consequence of achieving the maxiumum performance possible.

        Brawn will sort out the rules to get this back to a racing formula but itś going to take a few seasons to make the changes.

        1. Thank you +10

        2. Woah Matt Matt Matt STOP!
          Cars looking good has NOTHING to do with their ability to overtake. The cars should BOTH look awesome and be awesome at racing.

      3. @spafrancorchamps
        “I prefer 1 true effort pass over 50 DRS passes.”
        What a nonsensical statement.
        What do you prefer: 50 true effort passes or 1 DRS pass? Because the latter is what we have right now.

      4. Slardi Bartfast
        28th March 2017, 18:32

        You don’t like/understand/grasp how important DRS is to a race car driver. It allows a faster car to easily pass. If the passer can’t pull away, then it gets passed by the car which had just passed him.
        Over the years we have witnessed DRS overtakings instantly reversed by the top drivers repassing the slower car.

        The DRS saved F1 from the BORING PARADES. We had lost interest in F1 Parades and started watching more Indy car and NASCAR races; but the DRS brought us back.
        F1 Officials: did you forget to wind tunnel test for rear turbulence?

    2. They still are quite simple compared to those @roodda the difference is the front-wing which is much more complex than before.

      On the body itself there aren’t much of those appendices nowadays.

    3. Because the people making the decisions in 2015 have short freakin’ memories, and value looks over racing.

      1. Shocker of all shockers – adding more downforce to F1 cars generates more turbulence and makes it harder for another car to follow close by.

        Who’d have thunk it!

        I honestly wonder about the collective stupidity, year after year, of the F1 rule makers. Do these people know ANYTHING about F1 at all? One would have to assume not.

        Have they ever heard of ground effects???

        1. @nick101 The actual problem is how the downforce is generated, not the amount of it. Even with the current amount following would be easier if it was primarily generated via the floor (IE., ground effects) and or the diffuser, so easing the ability to follow closely doesn’t require less downforce, but just a method of generating it that is less dependent on clean air.

          1. Please please please bring back GE cars. Would even love to see a 6 wheeler or a fan car again! Give the designers some freedom to achieve the exciting outcomes we all want! Once the racing is right again you watch the numbers viewing jump; that will bring sponsors back more money etc etc. I like hybrid, I like fuel restriction, but is also like 18000 revs and importantly cars must be able to over take!

    4. An open wheel (as used in F1, GP2/F2, F3, etc) generates lift as it rotates, especially when it is in contact with the ground. I’m sorry, I don’t know how strong this lift is.

  2. While it’s just the first race of the year it is safe to say that increase downforce levels is the opposite of what the overtaking working group was proposing years ago.

  3. Vettel wouldn’t appear to have a problem following another car closely or appear to have tyre degradation.
    Sour grapes from Hamilton l feel and someone who threw his dummy out the pram today.
    Bottas isn’t a proven overtaker and Verstappen was in an inferior car on the day.
    I’m encouraged by today and loved the cornering speeds, wait and see l say.

    1. But was he ever going to overtake him?

      1. He would certainly of attempted to pass without the necessity to stop.

        1. He spent 17 laps behind him without once trying.

          1. Because you win the race on the last lap, not on lap 17. Vettel was waiting to see if the over/undercut would work, had it not, Vettel would have tired to overtake on track. After the final stops, both in clear air, Vettel pulled a 10sec gap over Hamilton, Vettel (and Bottas) was faster than Hamilton. Deal with it.

    2. What’s the point of following someone if you can’t overtake them?

      1. You’re missing the point. He also didn’t need to overtake at that stage.

        1. Why did he not needed to overtake him? Did he know in advance that Lewis would stop early and get held up by Max?

          1. Surely you understand that Ferrari had a game plan that was dependable on the first stop, and if they were to mount an attack would be after it. The question is why would he go for an overtake before, knowing that the first stop would come before the first stop.

          2. Last sentence should be: ,knwoing that the first stop would come well before half distance

    3. Did you actually watch anything?

      At no time was LH anything other than happy about the competition!

      His comments, obviously given his status and experience were spot on. He made them last year and has been proven right!

      The Mercedes concept with its highly developed aero flicks and fuss is probably worse than most – probably because they have run out front for a few years.

      1. You clearly watched the race with the sound down.

    4. Sour grapes fro Hamilton? Where did you get that conclusion from? Did you see Hamilton and Vettel after the race? Laughing and congratulating each other and Hamilton said something like “i’ll get ya next time” in a friendly way.

      1. listen to the post race interviews

    5. Vettel never tried to overtake him. He knew his best chance was in the pits. Sour grapes from Hamilton? That’s a remarkably easy and logicless thing to say. Most drivers were complaining about lack of overtaking, not just Hamilton.

      1. Again listen to the post race interviews and the radio script if you must.
        I was surprised how easily Lewis cracked today.

        1. I have Fran. However I and most others have to assume you did not.

          In the assumption you are talking about his radio calls it might help you to know that Mercedes attempted to open a gap in the later stages of the first stint and asked Hamilton for feedback on the tyres while doing so as they were unsure how the life would be. Hamilton did that – somehow you perceive that as ‘cracking’ yet could not gap SV enough. Mercedes as usual panic, take the worst of being between a rock and a hard place and dump Hamilton in traffic. I am sure had they let him know he would have wanted to avoid that.

          SV while remaining out for a few laps did not increase the lap time by more than a tenth or so but with a few tenths on the pit stop it was just enough. Only just but it was the win right there.

          You of course choose to see a cracked demotivated and hopeless Hamilton?
          Go figure…

        2. Lewis was very mature. He congratulated Vettel. He said the competition was a good thing. Said he was pretty happy with second. I know he can seem a bit petulant sometimes, but when he isn’t, people ought to be fair with their appraisals of him.

  4. You’ve got a track where overtaking is very difficult, rock-solid tires and wider wings, so what else do you expect? China will be the real test.

    1. Melbourne usually doesn’t offer fantastic races often.
      Interested to see how Seb thinks about it considering he was following Lewis quite well in the first stint. I believe Mercedes still have a pace advantage over Ferrari and messed up today by getting Lewis stuck behind Max.

      Your right about China and I would include Bahrain as well. Bahrain served up some great races in the V6 era.

      1. True, most Tilke tracks are built for overtaking. The Bahrain and China races will at least be more dynamic.

        I don’t think Mercedes were faster than Ferrari. Perhaps Vettel outperformed the car, but based on today’s performance I’d say Ferrari were faster in the race. Vettel was able to chase Hamilton, and because he was so close, the threat of the undercut made Hamilton pit too early. After the stops Vettel was happily controlling the race.

        1. Vettel out performed the car.

          My God this is a stupid statement! We always hear this nonsense about either Vettel or Hamilton.

          Exactly HOW does a driver ‘out perform’ a car? Does he sprinkle it with fairy dust to give it special powers?

          The car will not go any faster than it can go – it’s called physics.

    2. Totally agree. Let’s give it a few races.

      I think everyone’s overreacting slightly. Melbourne hasn’t been great in recent years.

      I was honestly happy to not hear drivers being told to back away because it’s destroying their tires. I also loved not seeing easy highway style DRS passes.

  5. Funny that a lot of people thought Hamilton was talking crap about overtaking because the master of overtaking Verstappen said it would be easy.
    What’s Verstappen saying now ?

    1. Verstappen never said it would be easy. He said it would be no different to 2016.
      But yes, Verstappen has changed his opinion on the matter. I hope that’s not a crime.

      1. Things haven’t changed much over a year… last year Hamilton on Verstappen ‘I can’t pass this guy’, this year Hamilton on Verstappen ‘I can’t pass this guy’. Only difference was the car Verstappen drove in

    2. Funny that a lot of people thought Hamilton was talking crap about overtaking because the master of overtaking Verstappen said it would be easy.

      Only clairvoyants could have discredited Hamilton’s 2015 comment based on Verstappen’s 2017 interview ;)

      1. Yes, but only people who read know that Hamilton made that statement in Barcelona in 2017, and 5 seconds later, Max says “Passing? Not that different– I followed a couple of guys, and I was fine!”. So rather than believe the guy starting his 11th season in F1, who has 52 wins, everyone decided the two year veteran with a single lucky win knew what he was talking about.

        Now Max has changed his mind, and the people who thought Hamilton was being a whiny git look a bit foolish.

    3. The cars with DRS and crap tyres/different strategies were to easy to overtake so of course it is harder now.

      1. What? 2016 cars were difficult to overtake, not easy, and thus relied heavily on DRS zones to easily pass. 2017 – even more difficult to overtake so will rely even more heavily on long DRS zones for relatively easy passes.

        So increased reliance on the bigger DRS and long straights. Not a good thing!

        I keep hearing people say this is back to old style 80s and 90s racing. It absolutely isn’t. I have never seen such large turbulent air gaps before. In the 90s the gaps would have been maybe 0.5 seconds, now it’s 5 or 6 times larger. You can’t have close racing with gaps like this.
        This year we will only see close racing when the car behind is actually around 3 seconds a lap faster than the one ahead, and that car also has drs on a 3rd car further in front.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    26th March 2017, 10:47

    If the FIA could more strictly regulate the trailing edges of the wings, then having these complex wings and following cars would be no issue. You could essentially have your pie and eat it.

    So long as the team’s are allowed to design their wings and winglets to produce turbulent flow for the car behind, then we’ll keep on having this issue. The problem is that it’s not in the team’s best interests to design their car so that others can follow closely. Their objective is to get as much downforce on the car as well as making it as difficult as possible for the trailing car to follow.

    NASA produce wings and winglets for their aircraft that produce minimal turbulent air and keep the laminar airflow incredibly smooth, and they’re travelling many times faster than a Formula One car.

    If they can do it, so can Formula One.

    1. @tophercheese21, I don’t know where you have got the idea that the teams are intentionally trying to make it harder for a trailing car to catch up, because I’ve not seen anybody present credible evidence for that (not least since that would conflict with the primary objective for the teams, which is achieving the maximum level of consistent downforce with the least amount of drag possible).

      Either way, why are you focusing so much on the wings when by far the biggest cause of turbulence is the fact that you have big fat unenclosed tyres? The amount of turbulence created by the tyres is significantly larger than any other part of the bodywork – if you really wanted to reduce the turbulent wake of the cars, enclosing the tyres would have a far more significant impact.

      1. Anon but what is affected by that turbulent air? The wings, that’s why they should be addressed.

        Surely you are not suggesting that F1 should have enclosed wheels?

        1. @johnmilk, what I was disputing was that the wings were being designed to create turbulent flow behind them, which doesn’t make sense (given that the wings would be working less efficiently and ultimately slowing the car down in that situation).

          There has also been some debate whether simplifying the wings in the way that some posters want to do really would be that effective, or possibly even counterproductive.

          CFD and model tests suggest that, whilst everybody focuses on the front wing because it is a visible aero surface, usually the problems with drivers struggling in the wake of another car come from the front of the floor stalling (since the front and rear wings tend to lose a similar amount of downforce and therefore don’t cause a significant handling imbalance, but stalling of the front of the floor does shift the centre of pressure rearward and causes more of a handling issue for the trailing driver). Ultimately, obsessing over the front wing when the floor of the car is the most significant aero surface, and by a large margin, puts the focus on the wrong thing just because it has a significant visual impact.

          As for enclosing the wheels, what I put forward was just a simple statement of fact – enclosing the wheels with bodywork would nullify much of the turbulent wake that they produce. If, as @tophercheese21 commented, you wanted to significantly reduce the amount of turbulence that the car produces, enclosing the wheels with bodywork would make a significant difference – it is up to you to judge whether you would want to make that step.

          1. Agree Anon. The overall downforce of the cars in fact doesn’t come from the front-wing, but it is that part of the car that gives front grip and front stability, if you don’t feed it with clean air it won’t work properly and therefore cars lose front end grip wich leads to higher tyre degradation and the difficulties in following the car in front.

            If you simplify that device front grip won’t be so dependent on it, and while cars will still lose while tailing the difference won’t be as severe, and with proper tyres they will be able to attack the car in front.

            This of course is my understanding of the issue. Put together with info that I manage to find and whith the insight that teams share. With that said I would like to see that phenomenon that you mention and the CFD.

            For me it is not a matter of reducing the turbulent air from the wheels it is about not getting disturbed by it, or at least reduce its effects, hence my comment on the wheel covers.

      2. @anon:
        “I don’t know where you have got the idea that the teams are intentionally trying to make it harder for a trailing car to catch up, because I’ve not seen anybody present credible evidence for that “
        Well, I have. When in university I once attended a lecture by Willem Toet (then at BAR) and this very question came up in the informal chit chat after the lecture. He confirmed that it was an area of some interest and showed some CFD plots of cars following each other (also explained that the windtunnel was of little use, because of the positioning of the cars). He said it was of course not a pimary target to create dirty air, but sometimes looked at if it could be done at little/no cost, or if an existing design could be made ‘more dirty’ with little effort. If BAR already did a long time ago, I’m pretty sure today everybody’s doing it.

      3. The whole goal of F1 aero design is to make turbulent air around the parts that drag and clean air over the parts that make downforce. Having a front tire make turbulent air is a major drag… Having a little winglet that spills a vortex into the right area is also a drag but a lot smaller one. I am 100% sure that cars are intentionally making dirty air- just look at the back around the diffuser and rear wing- there are tons of little vortex generators on the current cars.

    2. NASA doesn’t build aircraft.

      Airbus and Boeing you mean

      1. No Stiggs, NASA designs aerofoils for the first A in their name and many of their designs are ” standards” used by engineers and even sailing yacht designers.

        1. it is NACA that design airfoil, not NASA

          1. NACA have not existed for 58 years… They were replaced by NASA…

            On the main subject though. I feel that the issue is the micromanagement of the regulations. The cars have to fit in a tight template and this does not allow the designers full freedom to sort these issues out. If there was more freedom then I would imagine that some teams would design cars that could follow far more easily in turbulent air and we may also see car designs that did not create as much turbulence as this would reduce drag and allow the car to be faster and more fuel efficient.

    3. F1 is an open wheel racing series, and the open wheel produces a lot of drag and turbulence, and it produces lift as well. It could be the original reason for having open wheels was to punish the car in front of another by virtue of the drag, while giving an area of turbulence behind that probably reduced the drag experienced behind it to encourage the cars behind to catch up.
      As I understand it, as speed increases (or tyre width or speed of rotation) the lift generated by the air increases. I haven’t been able to confirm this, but I believe this is why open wheel series cars now use aerofoils, to counter the lifting effect of the spinning wheels.
      It may be there is some benefit to be gained by modifying the shape of the wing tips so they produce less turbulence, but you will still have turbulence.
      If you want to get rid of the wings, then you need to find another way to counter the lifting effect due to the spin of the wheels. I don’t know if enclosing the wheels would help, but that seems to be adequate in most closed wheel racing series. If this was practical, then there isn’t any reason why a cover over the wheels couldn’t be made that has the same aerodynamic resistance to air as a tyre, thereby offering the same drag resistance to a front car as if it had open wheels, but without the lifting effect.

      1. The wheels will indeed produce some lift, however I would imagine the body of the vehicle produces far more. There would have to be some sort of aero device to reduce lift either an aerofoil or a spoiler both of which can create significant turbulence (Especially a spoiler). This is why aerofoils became a thing in racing but they have now become far more than a device to prevent lift, they now produce enormous amounts of downforce.

  7. This track has always been hard to overtake on, we have yet to see how much of an issue overtaking has become.

    But for me the 2017 cars are already a success, because: A) They are fast, and impressive to watch. B) The drivers are excited! C) Driver are clearly making a difference again

    1. Are they? Most of the overtakes I saw were done by the pitwall strategists. Mercedes got it wrong, because their guy is ultra conservative in his strategy, and Ferrari got it right by responding to Mercedes.

  8. If it is harder to overtake than before that’s good.

    If it’s harder to follow than before that’s bad.

    If one is faster than the guy in front, he is not entitled to that position.

    Just to make that clear.

    F1 has a fundamental problem that needs to be fixed/solved, not patched with DRS or butterelis.

  9. I have come to the conclusion that not being able to closely follow and being difficult to overtake is part of what defines F1. There are plenty of other racing formats where you can follow closely and often overtake. Why would F1 want to be like all those other series? F1 is unique in a lot of ways and I think it should stay that way.

    1. What a silly conclusion. That’s like saying cancer is a defining part of life and so we shouldn’t look to cure it.

      Hey, let’s not award a world champion. Let’s award every driver 10 points for finishing a race or not even finishing it. Why would F1 want to be like all those other series who decide a champion?

    2. If I wanted to watch time trials, I’d go to my local race track. I don’t like spending 2-3 hours of my life watching time trials and pit overtakes.

  10. Unfortunately, DRS is needed in F1 these days. I’d like to see unlimited DRS for the following driver and let the driver decide where and how early out of a corner it’s used.

    1. This, we need this. As long as you are within 1 second of the car ahead, allow the driver to deploy DRS freely. Give them more opportunity to catch up the time lost in the corners. Didn’t they allow this in qualifying for a while (free deployment of DRS)?

      1. Yes, and it was waaay too dangerous as DRS is a on/off system. Maybe if DRS was changed so the driver could control the rear wing angle like a second throttle.

        I would also have an automatic Grip Increase System for the front wing which automatically increases the wing angle to a maximum set angle when another car is less than 2 seconds ahead. This would be deactivated when using DRS.
        They had the right idea with the driver adjustable front wing in 2009/10 but the implementation was flawed. It’s time to bring the movable front wing back and integrate it properly with DRS. GIS and DRS working together to allow these aero reliant cars to race at close quarters, GIS in the corners and DRS on the straights.

        A GIS might even force the teams to run less complicated front wing flaps.

  11. Whatever optimism I had pre-season was stomped on immediately when drivers admitted “following another car is more difficult”. Now what little optimism I had left has now been crushed, grinded and thrown into bin after today’s season opening procession.

    1. Good to see the waaah waaah, 3000 overtakes per race, instant gratification kiddy brigade is out in full force already.

      Today was the real DNA of F1 on display – good racing and strategies. And no, easy overtakes have nothing to do with good racing.

      1. So you didn’t want to see Vettel take on Lewis on track. You don’t want to see Leiwis take on Max? Your f1 is all about overtaking In the pits or giving up and falling back. Great!

        1. Yeah, because that happened so many times before.

          Between 2014-2016, how many times did Rosberg overtake Hamilton or vice versa on track, without the other making a mistake? And especially at a track like Melbourne.

          I rest my case.

      2. So F1 is all about time trials, qualifying and not the drivers? Really? So Senna’s ability to drive and overtake is just an afterthought to constructor’s strategy? Calling people “kiddy” and falsely mocking them for being upset at this show show’s your immaturity more than the people you target.

        1. +1

          Senna would have hated these cars inability to get close.

        2. Senna couldn’t overtake either unless he had a vastly superior car or had a much better exit than the guy ahead. The few times people made mistakes yesterday, there were overtakes too.

          Just the way it should be.

    2. Why? Australia is a not a good overtaking track.

      Wait for China. You know, a great overtaking track, so-called F1 fan!

  12. I had hoped, like many, we wouldn’t be hearing what we are from the drivers, however, the fact is this is what it is for now, and I have renewed faith that the new management including Brawn can now take from this experience and progress well.

    This is what we have right now and the only thing constant in F1 is change. I think different tracks will treat the cars differently. I think they are much better off on these tires. If the current format is dire they can deal with the wing regs, or floor regs etc. They still in my mind had to widen the cars and bring in these tires. If it ends up about the same in terms of passing as last year, it’s still a better product for the cars looking as they do and being more of a handful for the drivers, and now they can evolve from here. It’s race one of an entirely new chapter of cars and management.

    I say let’s give them kudos for knowing they needed to move away from the product they had, and some patience under the new regime to tweek things going forward.

    Bottom line for me…so far the product is better than we had with cars trundling along conserving everything to the extreme, drivers not taxing themselves.

    1. Well said.

      At least the tyres actually allow some pushing now and it’s hardly beyond the wit of man to step back some of the aero issue.

      The overtaking brigade are frankly nuts. We want wheel to wheel racing with fast cars, good racing and competition.

      I really do not want fake overtaking by delta, tyre compound or any other gimmick.

    2. +1 and very happy to have Ross getting involved.

      Tires were not the main story line for once in a long time… This is success!

      The cars looked awesome… This is success!

      Now let’s just get rid of the stupid aero fiddly bits that screw up everything… clean air over the car means close racing. Close racing means good racing. Ross will be our savior!

  13. I think the Racing was fantastic. Finally cars for proper men. Not a surprise the young boy in the RBR would complain. Perez looked old school out there.

    1. Nothing old school happened out there today. Modern day aero dependent cars fighting against huge turbulent air.

      1. Ur not a true Racer! 8 G’s means nothing to U. Fastest laps around that circuit. No still don’t get it yet do U. Go complain elsewhere.

      1. If she can drive it fast then welcome. For some reason females are not fast enough in F1. These cars are beasts so it may not happen.

  14. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    26th March 2017, 14:30

    When you see that Stroll and Magnussen, who are usually regarded as the worst drivers in the field, struggle to control this cars, and when you also realize even experimented drivers as Ricciardo can be caught off-guard, then it means FIA did something right and made these cars as they should be. No matter if Stroll’s dad has millions or billions: If Williams sees this kid will only damage the car in all the possible different ways, they will see a way to get rid of him as soon as possible.
    I prefer not to see 100 DRS passes. Watching Ocon and Hulkenberg was enough. Watching Perez was also awesome. And if you add to that 2 teams evenly matched for the win, well, that’s all I wanted from F1 to be honest!

    1. Stroll was only 1 of 4 drivers who managed an overtake, so he must be top 4 of the pack…

      Ocon and Hulkenberg on Alonso was a DRS pass. In fact all 4 passes this race were DRS-passes.

  15. F1 should have learned from IndyCar, where current downforce levels are absurdly high. The turbulence when following makes it extremely hard to overtake. Next years aero package will reduce downforce dramatically, and generate most of it from the bottom of the car reducing turbulence and making following and overtaking easier. Probably the route that F1 will have to take.

    1. I hope not. Why water it down again. I disagree.

    2. You mean Indycar is going to rely more on ground effect (banned F1 tech which they’re perhaps a bit idiotic for not reintroducing this year)?

    3. Probably the route that F1 will have to take.

      F1 doesn’t follow any other inferior series’ route.

      F1 has nothing to learn from that oval procession. Worse racing, slower cars and less talented drivers.

      I get IC fans saying their series should follow in F1’s footsteps (like it has done for decades), but the reverse is silly.

  16. I thought it was boring. Everyone on sky is talking it up, they would of course, but the fact is the rule changes didn’t work in Oz. Shark fins and antennae ruin the look they’ve tried to achieve and they still sound like a fridge. I’ve been watching since 1980 and I’ve rarely been more disappointed.

  17. The men in charge are IDIOTS. We have basically come back to 1997 when overtaking was almost impossible and IndyCar (that I loved by the way) was slowly taking over.

    1. Except the f1 cars could follow each other much closer back then. Alex Zanardi was awesome that year! Blundell was pretty good too.

  18. All in all I think the racing is at around the same level, you gain in some areas lose in others.

  19. Burn the rule book.. distribute the coin more evenly and the manufacturers build and run whatever the hell they want… job done

      26th March 2017, 22:17

      Amen to that. F1 continues to move closer and closer to a spec series. There is no justification for this if the on-track action is not superb. I say the old adage “run what you brung” is the solution. This is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsports. Remove the rules, let ALL the lap records fall and I will respect the fact that passing doesn’t happen.

  20. He said “What do you think?” not “What overtaking?” :)

  21. From a post race interview between Lauda and Martin Brundle, both seemed to agree that overtaking at Melbourne is easier said than done. So lets wait and see what happens in the next couple of races.

    Also I found Ocon and Hulk’s overtake during the last few laps interesting. I also remember seeing a couple of other overtakes in the mid field. So I wouldn’t say I am dissapointed yet !

  22. “It’s through pit stops that we’re racing now.”

    Spot on

  23. Tbhe aero needs simplifying, and maybe bringing back adjustable front wings might help a bit with following another car? Im sure there is a case for bringing them back. DRS has always been a bit rubbish in Aus due to the short drs zones, but i guess we will find out in china :)

  24. I think there has been an overreaction from those who have been speaking negatively about the overtaking.
    For those complaining that Vettel wasn’t able to attack Hamilton, the same scenario happened in 2015 when Vettel and Massa were battling for position; it came down to pit-stops to see who won track position come the finish line.
    Lewis Hamilton wasn’t able to pass Max Verstappen? Same scenario happened in 2016 in Australia, I concede Lewis was on fresher tyres but in 2016 there would have been a bigger difference in performance for Hamilton to make his way past.
    Considering this, I’d like to think it was down to the type of circuit rather than purely the new regulations affecting how to cars behave behind other cars.
    However, it is concerning drivers complaining about cars being affected by turbulence when 2 seconds behind an opponent, although that didn’t seem to be the case for Sebastian Vettel early on in the race.

  25. @keithcollantine Is there some solid info on why in this latest round of rules changes the complexity of the front wings was not addressed, when – and correct me if I’m wrong but I think I’m not in saying that – everyone’s known for just about as far back as memory stretches that the more complex the aero elements at the front of the car, the more difficult it is to follow closely? Would imposing simplified front wings not have been a very obvious and logical, not to mention at least somewhat cost-reducing, thing to do? And if so, what was the logic behind not doing it?

  26. This was the most boring race I watched in recent memory, and most boring Australian GP ever! When will the F1 rule-makers see the light? Or are they purposely blinding themselves to the fact?

    1. The trouble with formula 1 is that you can never have more than 7 fantastic races in succession without it starting to feel less exciting, as we all start to become habituated to exciting races due the very fact we’re watching them.
      Just like each extra piece of chocolate tastes less amazing than the first.

      I thought the Australian GP was a bit rubbish, but I reckon that because the last race was such a ‘thriller’ (as they say), and this first race of the season with apparently ‘better’ cars the race was so hotly anticipated, it was always more likely to be a bit of a let down. Actually, if a Ferrari had of won a race fairly and squarely last year everyone would have been jumping for joy and saying what a great race it was.

  27. I think F1 is as confused as it has ever been. Clearly these fat tires and party-decorated cars are not going to improve things much. Mercedes should maybe tell Lewis to stop complaining about not being able to pass because they don’t look like they’ll be fixing that problem anytime soon. F1 cars are just too aerodynamically complex. Someone needs to remind F1 that they are just four-wheeled vehicles, not ground-based jet fighters.

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