Formula 1

Overtake numbers decreased in 2017.

New data makes for concerning reading for Formula One owners

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Formula One's new aero regulations for 2017 appear to have caused an overtaking slump, as new data has shown that number of overtakes this year was just over half of what we saw in the 2016 Formula 1 season, according to the data released by tyre supplier Pirelli.

Last year saw 866 overtakes across the 21 race campaign that ultimately saw Nico Rosberg win the title.

Lewis Hamilton's title winning 2017 saw just 435 overtakes across the 20 races held, with many feeling a bit mellow, especially after the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi was arguably one of the quietest of the year.

An overtaking maneuver is defined as "one that takes place during complete flying laps (so not on the opening lap) and is then maintained all the way to the lap's finish line. Position changes due to major mechanical problems or lapping/unlapping are not counted."

That definition is according to Pirelli.

The data does indeed confirm the fear that drivers, fans, and teams had about F1 and the cars ahead of the season.

The new cars, with the wider tyres and increase in downforce, have produced the reduction in overtaking, something they were all expecting.

The regulations were designed to increase the speed of the cars and to produce a more aggressive looking car, to set F1 apart from the other series in the world.

Whilst that was a success, the average pole position time, falling by 2.450s compared to 2016, and the average race fastest lap falling by 2.968, it did sadly reduce the spectacle at some tracks, despite "impossible to overtake" track Spain perhaps producing the best race of the season.

F1 Grand Prix of Istanbul - Race

Ross Brawn and the FIA are looking to try and improve the overtaking show, with the added removal of the DRS that is used via the car's rear wing. No fix is coming for 2018, but it would be great if overtaking numbers could increase without the use of this certain aid. It must be said, though, DRS can actually be very useful.

The Russian Grand Prix highlighted the problem, as just a single on-track overtake was recorded after the lights went out, although that track in particular has not exactly thrilled fans since its inclusion on the calendar back in 2014.

The absolutely bonkers race in Azerbaijan produced the most overtakes with 42, made all the more remarkable as it produced perhaps one of the worst races of the 2016 season. 

Lewis Hamilton
Fernando Alonso
Formula 1
Felipe Massa

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