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Sebastian Vettel responds to criticism over lack of overtaking in Formula 1

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Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has turned on his sport's own fans for decrying the lack of overtaking in F1.

Faster, wider cars have led to an increase in turbulent air, making it harder for drivers to follow other cars and get close enough to pass at certain circuits, such as Melbourne.

Research from F1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed a 49% drop in recorded passes, from 866 in 2016 to just 435 last year.

But Vettel says fans crying out for more excitement should just calm down.

"Some races are boring, so what? I don't see the problem in that," the 2017 runner-up told Autosport.

"I don't think we need another record, another record every race, to have more overtaking and more overtaking.

"It's true that [difficulty in] overtaking sometimes, especially if you're behind and you're fast and you can't get past for those reasons, it annoys you.

"But then again if you make the move there is a massive reward inside the car, sometimes out of the car.

F1 Grand Prix of Mexico

"What I want to say is that overtaking should be an achievement and not handed to you."

The lack of overtaking certainly appeared to suit Vettel when he took first place in Australia, helped as he was by Hamilton struggling to get past Max Verstappen.

Ultimately it wasn't enough to prevent Hamilton becoming world champion for a fourth time this year, though.

And Hamilton for one is more mindful of the need to make F1 as exciting as possible, believing the sport ignores its audience at its peril.

AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU DHABI-PODIUM

"On the racing side, I hope moving forwards, overtaking gets easier," the Mercedes star said.

"Not easier, but being able to follow each other is really what the sport needs.

"The more overtaking the more fun it is for people to watch."

Calling for tweaks from new Formula One Group owners Liberty Media to help raise the F1's profile to the level of NFL and football, Hamilton added: "It's not about what I want, it's just F1 has been a little bit behind other sports. It's such a special sport," as per The Express.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

"The great thing with (CEO) Chase Carey and the team from Liberty coming in is they've really brought something new into the mix this year, whilst they're learning at the same time about the sport, and what the fans want."

"From a racing driver's point of view you just want to be able to race closely like you could in karts.

"Kart racing is the best form of racing still, because the guys follow each other so closely."

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Topics:
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
Formula 1
Ferrari

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