Posted on November 23, 2011
Screen shot 2011-11-23 at 09.54.10

Heading into the final race of the 2011 Formula One World Championship we are able to reflect on how overtaking has changed through the installation of DRS and the new Pirelli tyres, as well as the return of KERS, thanks to data from Mercedes.

And Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Buemi turns out to be the pass master, the driver who has done the most overtakes.

With a deliberate focus on increased overtaking 2011 was set to be, at the very least, a very interesting experiment aimed at producing a better spectacle for fans.

The overtakes can be split down according to certain criteria. They are classed as follows: Normal/DRS/Slower cars (HRT, Team Lotus or Virgin)/Team-mates (team orders may occur)/Damage/Lap one.

The season has already consisted of almost 1500 maneuvers, however excluding lap one and passes due to damage this number decreases to 1180. This takes out any anomalies such as the first corner incident at Monza.

There have been 804 Normal/DRS moves (441 normal and 363 DRS) which accounts to 55% and 45% respectively. In addition to this there have been 300 moves on slower cars and 76 between team-mates.

On average we have seen 45 overtakes per race (25 normal, 20 DRS) with the most occurring at Turkey (85), Canada (79) and China (67).

If we are to look at the ratio between DRS and normal overtakes during the season then it is no surprise to see that Abu Dhabi (89%), Europe (81%) and India (78%) have the most DRS-assisted passes in relation to normal passes. These tracks each had two DRS zones.

The overall top overtaker during the season (adjusted to account for retirements) is Buemi (112) who is shadowed by Schumacher (111) and Kobayashi (95). However, looking at passes between the start-line and the end of sector-one on the first lap then we have Schumacher (34), Buemi (29) and Kovalainen (28). Unsurprisingly Vettel has the least overtakes in the first sector due to his dominant qualifying pace.

When the race is underway Perez and Buemi have shown very good ability at moving through the field, each with 82 overtakes between the end of lap one and the chequered flag.

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Buemi the pass master in new look F1
76 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Spinodontosaurus
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 11:09 am 

    There may have been alot of DRS overtakes, but it isnt as if they added anything meaningful, only subtracted.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Wow, that’s really short sighted. DRS is a great tool to have until the FIA removes the aero dependancy of the cars.

    [Reply]

    wayne Reply:

    It’s not short sighted at all, it is a matter of opinion. ‘Real’ overtaking manoeuvres requiring skill, race craft and timing vs. straight forward pass and re-pass like we saw in Yas Marina. It’s shocking that one of the newest tracks on the circuit appears to be so dependant on DRS, a complete failure from that perspective right out of the box – but it does follow the trend doesn’t it? Then let’s take a look at Turkey, a race which can no longer afford CVC’s asking price, a great circuit dropped!

    As for the overtaking percentages, it’s not at all surprising that the midfield are at the top of the list. They have reasonable cars and there are more cars in front of them to tackle from the start!

    How many of DiResta and co’s yawn inspiring (no reflection on the driver) re-passes from Yas Marina are included in these stats? All of them and that’s what’s wrong with DRS and the track itself.

    [Reply]

    Hisham Akhtar Reply:

    I think DRS is a good concept but it needs to be tweaked.

    There’s no need for a double DRS zone, especially if it follows the first zone directly. And they need to tweak the zones so they’re long enough to overtake with but short enough that people don’t breeze by each other.

    The problem is that the usefulness of DRS changes DURING the race as the fuel is burned off so it’s difficult to find a happy medium and even more difficult if they have no prior data to base it on (as they had to for every circuit this season!)

    Give DRS time. It’s already changed the racing and added another aspect to it. It’s also made KERS more relevant as the defending drivers relies on it quite heavily against a DRS/KERS driven car.

    Spinodontosaurus Reply:

    Hisham, the zone tweaking will never work properly. It may by chance be perfect for Car X to overtake Car Y when it is Z behind, but as soon as those variables are changed, it will not work.

    Nik Wilson Reply:

    I agree. This is like saying which car on a motorway passes the most cars.

    DRS is fabricated and artificial and panders to the ‘playstation age’

    And before anyone compares this to the 80′s Turbo era, where they turned the boost up, there was a penalty for that. Risk of running out of fuel or being forced to run far lower boost later in the race, so they could make it to the chequered flag.

    DRS is merely a cheap method of giving the impression of overtaking, whilst skimming over the fundamental power versus aero issues.

    [Reply]

    Jon Reply:

    well said!

    [Reply]

    wayne Reply:

    Absolutely!

    [Reply]

    Andy C Reply:

    I agree, that in 2014 I’d like to see boost being variable (and the risk involved with turning it up being less reliability)

    That said however, in the short term it does assist in replacing that capability.

    [Reply]

    Nik Wilson Reply:

    “That said however, in the short term it does assist in replacing that capability” I don’t agree with that. DRS is without penalty so it’s just lap after lap of, dash light on, press button, off we go.

    I get visions of them giving their mate a little wave as they go past.!!!

    And now some drivers want DRS restricted in Quali and practice, so they have to follow the same rules as the race. Good grief!

    Being able to drop the aero at any point of the track is the only really challenging part of the whole weekend and it shows an element of bravery and skill in the driver.

    Roni Gabrelle Reply:

    I totally agree! DRS is an anathema. Real racing shouldn’t need these artificial aids, and whilst we are on the subject…..get rid of KERS at the sane time.

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Werewolf
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 11:25 am 

    Fascinating. For me, despite a couple of circuits where the balance was not right, the “new look F1″ has been a success with more action and entertainment and an opening up of strategy options.

    The drivers must surely be more motivated, too, knowing they actually have a good chance to pass the next car if they catch it or, conversely, that the one behind can pass them if they do not put in the lap times. The same result and much more entertaining than Ecclestone’s medal’s notion!

    [Reply]

    Trent Reply:

    I agree.

    Feelings can run high about ‘fake’ passes using DRS, but on balance I’d rather have some of this type of overtaking amongst ‘real’ overtaking, rather than have NO overtaking at all (which was frequently the case pre-’11).

    I do hope that 2011 is seen as a learning year, and that the DRS effect is reduced at circuits where overtaking was just too easy. I’m still aghast at what they did at Spa, the golden rule should be to not put DRS in a place that sees a lot of overtaking anyway.

    Apart from that, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed F1 2011. And after seeing 2 decades of inaction on the ‘overtaking issue’, there’s no way I will complain.

    [Reply]

    Spinodontosaurus Reply:

    The ‘no overtaking at all’ line is abused by many. Last year had the most on track over takes ever, I belive, until this year. It was just a few borefests that stand out. Unsuprisingly, they are on the same circuits year in year out.
    Restrict the aero, so no silly toys are needed, and ditch/redesign bad tracks to encourage racing.
    And no, Mr. Tilke, that does not mean more Abu Dhabi style tracks, or super wide corner entries to prevent defending.

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: kidVermin
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 12:08 pm 

    WHy was Ground Effect Banned, Downforce that didnt hinder the following car. Regulating Aero would be almost impossible.

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    There were two phases – the cars initially had rubber skirts that would occasionally fail, so that was too dangerous. The predominantly aluminium tubs that existed at the time weren’t anywhere near what we have now in terms of safety, so cornering speed was a concern.

    The other factor is that the drivers didn’t train like they do now, and the cars were beating them up so much with the hard springs. So this encouraged a reduction for what was pereieved to be driver safety.

    These days, if you limited the wing size, the total g-loadings wouldn’t be an issue.

    Cheers,

    Martin

    [Reply]

    eric weinraub Reply:

    When you look at the ground effects related accidents it was clear the safety of the cars was not on par with speeds GEs created…. Today, the cars generate more downforce than the old GEs ever did but saftety is on par.

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: james encore
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 12:10 pm 

    What no-one can say is how many “DRS overtakes” would have happened without DRS. Especially if we didn’t have rev limiters which previously prevented slip-streaming. (Top speed was hit without a slip-stream and and the car couldn’t go any faster. Now ratios are set a bit longer so cars only hit maximum revs with the wing open)

    Since a move must involve 2 drivers, it averages out that each driver has been in roughly 4 moves (gaining or losing places) per race on average.

    I think the person who logs this lot at Mercedes has done a fantastic job, and has earned a promotion. Could I apply for the resulting vacancy :-) ?

    [Reply]

    wayne Reply:

    Yes, it would be interesting to know how many of the so called DRS overtakes would have happened without the gimmick itself. Much overtaking happens at the end of the straights anyway!

    Not all of the DRS overtakes will have been purely because of the DRS as a % of them would have happened anyway.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: Laurence H
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 12:23 pm 

    Hi James, does the data reflect passes made during pitstops, or due to pitstops?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    On track passes, is my understanding

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: DanielH
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 1:35 pm 

    It would be great to have similar stats for last season. Then we would know whether the Pirelli tyres and KERS have affected the number of non-DRS passes.

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    My feeling without having data is that all passes have increased significantly due to DRS, and non-DRS passes have also increased due to tires and KERS being back.

    But as you say, we would know how much improvement in non-DRS and KERS has happened over 2010. It would be even better to have the data for previous 3 to 5 years to take an average in the non-DRS seaasons to compare to current year.

    [Reply]

    Trent Reply:

    Yes, great point.
    Non-DRS passes have also increased because of DRS, if that makes any sense!

    At some circuits, use of DRS has allowed a following driver to position himself close enough to execute a conventional pass on a non-DRS part of the circuit.

    I’m sure this contributed to the great battle we saw between Webber and Button in Korea.

    This is the way I feel DRS could be best be used, when the circuit allows it. Let it be there to position a driver to make a conventional passing move, rather than the tool to perform the move itself.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Mitchel
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 1:59 pm 

    Great analysis James! I’ve been waiting for this sort of info for a long time. Overall, I think this tells us that the DRS has generated a big improvement- it allows overtaking at tracks such as Monaco, Valencia and Singapore. With a bit of refinement in DRS zones, I would say it will be here to stay…

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Adam
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 2:12 pm 

    The teams should be pissed at the high overtaking drivers for under qualifying in their cars. The cars are obviously better in the race, than where they qualified. But you can only make sense of these statistics if you know they were passing someone who out qualified them and not someone coming out of the pits on cold tires for example, who had a better pit stop/strategy earlier in the race.

    In the end too hard to pull apart the factors. Button in Canada would be a real example of overtaking, essentially moving from the back to the front of the field, but how many positions were made from overtaking? I am sure every team would take that win over Schumachers overtaking move count. That is until F1 gives money and trophies for number of passes, in which case the top teams will fight to qualify dead last!

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: Skunk
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 2:59 pm 

    A solution to DRS? Why not just make it so that the DRS flap closes when the front axle of the chasing car passes the rear axle of the front car?

    [Reply]

    Spinodontosaurus Reply:

    DRS was a ‘solution’ in the first place, and a stupid one. So what you propose is keep employing more and more silly ‘solutions’ in an attempt to fix the problems caused by the one before it.
    The underlying problems are the large amount of aero reliance, and alot of terrible Tilkedromes.

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: eric weinraub
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 3:30 pm 

    While I agree with DRS is a gimmick that I’d like to see either expanded in use, or the sport deal with the fundamental issues of aerodynamics. Either limit them or give teams more testing time the further down the grid you go to allow for teams to catch up.

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Vinnie
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 3:58 pm 

    Hi James,

    While very interesting, there are a number of influences on number of overtakes.

    -Relative Top Speed. In general the slower you are set up to run on straights, the harder it is to pass (see Mark Webber).

    -Qualifying vs absolute performance. In general the worse you qualify compared to your absolute performance, the easier it is to pass as you are battling with slower cars in the initials stages (see Schumacher vs Rosberg)

    This point is amplified by taking a qualifying disadvantage by saving tyres, not only are you out of position, but you also have a further ‘advantage’ to passing, even if it doesn’t mean you end up better than you would have had you qualified normally
    (NB: making more passes is not necessarily better – it is better to start 2nd and lose 1 place each race than to start 10th and finish 5th every time).

    -How close you are in performance terms to the cars around you. A midfield car seems to have the most ‘close’ competition and swap places easier, whereas the cars at the front and back tend to be more separated from their immediate rivals (see Saubers & Toro Rosso’s).

    -How close to the front of the grid you are. The further towards the front you are, the less cars there are to pass (see Vettel)

    These effects are not necessarily independent from each other, for instance a Red Bull qualifying high due to high cornering speeds but low top speed would find it hard to pass for all the above reasons.
    And a midfield car with high top-speed who qualified badly but saved tyres would find it a lot easier to make passes.
    The effects also can cancel out.

    I think the answer is that it is very hard to establish who actually is the best passer given the number of different variables at play (i.e. Webber has relatively slow top speed, but often qualified quite low for performance of car, whereas Alonso, if anyone, probably tended to out-qualify the car’s absolute performance meaning it was ‘harder’ for him to make passes).

    Lots of things at play, and everyone will still believe that the driver they like is ‘the best’ when it comes to passing.

    cheers,
    -Vinnie

    [Reply]

    James Beck Reply:

    Nice post Vinnie. I agree – there are always factors that make a difference. If a car is out-of-position (early stop for a problem is a classic example), then passing slower cars adds to the tally, but doesn’t really make a difference to a race outcome.

    What about overtakes in a race where the overtaker finished within a couple of positions of the overtakee (or had a pace advantage of less than 1 second) such that the overtake had some material difference. Hamilton blasting past DiResta/Sutil/Rosberg/Perez at Singapore (for example) isn’t really the overtaking we’re interested in for ‘pass master’ status. However, his passes on Vettel in China or Alonso at Silverstone, are.

    This takes a lot more analysis, but the data is available to give it a go. What we need is a set of rules of what is a meaningful pass…

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: CTP
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 4:42 pm 

    it would have been nice to have seen some stats from past years for comparison.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: wll
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 4:58 pm 

    1100 passes, but maybe two dozen real overtakes.

    [Reply]

    Trent Reply:

    441 by my interpretation…

    [Reply]

    Spinodontosaurus Reply:

    Some of those, if not most would be DRS effected (allows the driver to close up more than he normally would).
    The overtakes done with vastly different tire ages are hardly real overtakes either, and you could make a case for KERS passes not being ‘real’ on top of that (with emphasis on could)

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: Chris Severin
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 5:25 pm 

    Does anyone that is complainging about DRS actually have a viable alternative to reduce the affect of aero turbulance which is the cause monotonous racing?

    Apart from reducing downforce levels which we are likely to see inlcluded in the new Concorde agreement.

    [Reply]

    lll Reply:

    Depends what you mean with ‘monotonous racing”, last year there was no DRS and it had very exciting races and many passes. 2011 is a borefest compared to 2010. So did 2007, 2008 and more seasons have exciting racing and passes.

    The art of defending is a crucial part of racing and DRS gets rid of that. DRS passes are anything but exciting.

    The only 2 people I know who like DRS are the casual sports watchers because they have nothing better to do (at the start of the season one of them thought Schumacher was still driving for Ferrari).

    The solution? Just get rid of it. For the ones saying the aero package is the reason we need DRS…that’s like putting a wrench on a hammer to get rid of the hammer?

    Why not get rid of the hammer so you don’t need the wrench?

    [Reply]

    Spinodontosaurus Reply:

    I ‘think’ that last season had as many on track passes as this season has had real passes, with 1 race remaining.
    So, apparantly the push to pass gimmick that yields boring and predictible racing is the difference between brilliance and a bore fest?
    What?

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Rudy Pyatt
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 5:52 pm 

    In my view, if you’re going to have movable rear wings – something that the regs have banned for years – then they should be fully under the drivers’ control. Get rid of the DRS zones, and leave when, where – if – to use the wing to the drivers and to teams.

    But, I would go further.

    I would prefer the return of the 1961 to 1965 1.5 liter regs. No wings, small engines. Huge advances in tires, engines and suspension and NO WINGS. Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Dan Gurney, John Surtees (not to mention Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham) demonstrating epic skill WITHOUT WINGS. Car size and weight suited to epic tracks and NO WINGS. Freedom of engine architecture – 4 cylinder, 8 cylinder, 6 cylinder; V12, Flat 12, transverse 12; four valve, two valve, fuel injected, carbuerated. And NO WINGS. Here’s a variation on that theme:

    How about 1.2 litre maximum displacement hybrid engines, with layout/architecture free choice, i.e., any source (even adapted road cars, motorcycles, industrial engines, snowmobiles…), number of cylinders, any cylinder cross section, any number of valves? Four-stroke, two-stroke, diesel, supercharging by positive displacement blower or turbo, front engine or rear engine. (Think about it: diesel electric hybrids are obvious – ever ride a train? – and any two stroke has a greater power to weight than an equivalent four stroke – why not use that advantage in a hybrid drivetrain? And there are turbo diesel two strokes). Fuel: diesel, gasoline, alcohol, or combinations thereof. Tires free. Transmission free. Ballast not permitted, by any means, minimum weight of 500kg. Two wheel drive (front or rear) or four-wheel drive.

    I’d like to have one engine restriction: No pneumatic valvetrain. That may not be realistic, given the addiction of F1 to that technology. I don’t think that it’s road relevant, but maybe someone can convince me otherwise.

    No wings. No diffusers. No skirts. No venturi tunnels. None. Nada. The idea is to focus things on road relevant chassis and engine development, and on driver skill. So active suspension, no. Anti-lock brakes, yes. Transmission is free. Again, road relevance: Go ahead and develop CVTs and more efficient automatic transmissions.

    And off the shelf production chassis are allowed. Building your own is optional. AND NO WINGS.

    No refueling or recharging. Minimum race distance, 250 miles; i.e., a bit more than the distance from NYC to D.C., a reasonable city-to-city distance to expect from an ordinary road car, and certainly so for a high tech formula car.

    Hey, if F1 won’t try this, get another series going! F1 doesn’t HAVE to be the only game in town. Especially given all the places that have been dropped from the calendar. Gee, maybe this could get the French GP back. How about running that race at LeMans?

    Schumi, Buemi (and if Ferrari does drop Massa, I expect Buemi to get the seat. These stats have surely been noticed, and STR does use a Ferrari engine…), Kobyashi and the other great passers (LH, JB) would get along just fine in such a formula.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread, James, so I’ll go back to the first point! Let the drivers control the DRS. Oh, and Buemi will be the next No. 2 at Ferrari.

    [Reply]

    Stuart Reply:

    Rudy,

    I like the way you think. This is a sport about racing cars not upside-down aircraft.

    [Reply]

    Mark Reply:

    +1 from me.

    F1 cars have become completely detached from the real world, as Stuart says they have become upside-down aircraft.

    I would love to see F1 leading the way in usable technology, the myriad rules in F1 have just about completely stopped development outside of aerodynamics.

    Most road cars have traction control and ABS, KERS is sort of applicable but DRS? And how about alternative engines, diesel, electric or hybrid? If Le Mans can do it why can’t F1?

    AND NO WINGS!

    [Reply]

    Stefanos Reply:

    Plenty other formulae / sports cars / rallying out there for you! I think a lot of what you suggest is availale to anyone sitting at track-side during an open day..!

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Jose Arellano
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 6:02 pm 

    why have DRS zone ??? i would make DRS available in the whole track as longs as you are 0.3 secs behind someone..

    [Reply]

    Trent Reply:

    The problem has always been getting to 0.3 sec behind someone. If you’re that close, you can pass the regular way.

    [Reply]

    Jose Arellano Reply:

    Thats not true. i remember seeing Germany 2010 with the live timing and alonso was closing on massa until he got to 0.3secs and thats where he started to struggle..

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Wu
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 6:29 pm 

    DRS makes overtakes that would have happened anyway so much easier. Perhaps if DRS was tuned down a bit, those “real” overtakes would be more numerous. However, how many times did DRS allow faster cars chase down other fast cars and give us a better race?

    What is an unfortunate byproduct of DRS is less emphasis on driver skill. Take Canada this year. Schumacher was robbed of a strong finish (2nd or 3rd) because he couldn’t defend himself without causing an accident. On the other hand, that let Button have a go at Vettel, which was a large contributing factor to one of the best drives in recent years.

    Double-edged sword and all that…

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: Max Smoot
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 6:32 pm 

    Buemi as the top ‘passer’ but apparently to lose his seat.

    [Reply]

    Grabyrdy Reply:

    Go figure.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Andrew Carter
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 7:16 pm 

    Where doe Button rank up with overtake numbers, it wasnt that long ago that everyone was saying he was leading the way.

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: Janis1207
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 7:33 pm 

    Well,
    wasn’t it on this very site that you, James published an overview proving that tyres were more decisive in overtaking than DRS?
    Demonstrating that more overtakes were due to big speed difference between new and old tyres than to DRS? Hence also the well known “undercut” phenomenon.
    Also, this year for some drivers it might have make sense to tune the car for the race, instead of qualifying. If the driver knows that because of the tyres/DRS he will be able to overtake, and if he is willing to take this risk vs. qualifying high and then struggling with tyre wear, it could be the winning strategy. Seems to me Buemi and Shumi (lately) are operating exactly this way.
    Sure, you will not see Vettel or Alonso on top of this list. But then, this is not the “most successful drivers of the year” listing, it’s “most overtakes” :) .

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: Tom D
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 7:44 pm 

    Last year we had a close championship, but races over after 1st pit stop. Ths year we have had a one sided championship, but better races. Let’s hope for close races and championship in 2012.

    I like DRS and applaud the teams and FIA for bringing it in. It could be better, but has improved the majority of races for me.

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: Lopek
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 10:13 pm 

    These stats say more about who’s done a bad job in quali relative to their car’s pace than anything else.

    They tell very little about the actual overtaking skills of the driver – particularly in the of cruising past on the straight with an artificially advantaged car using DRS.

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: gudien
        Date: November 23rd, 2011 @ 11:03 pm 

    Buemi and the Toro Rosso have performed well throughout the year. As always James your articles are superb in being about the sport we love, and not the usual ‘fan boy’ nonsense we see elsewhere on the net.

    Thanks again for a great job.

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: Simple
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 12:26 am 

    Button is 3rd with 77 overtakes. This info is on the official F1 site aswell, in more depth.

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: JB
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 12:48 am 

    DRS overtaking should NOT be classified as overtaking. The way I see it, real overtakings in 2011 only occurs on the 1st two laps at the start. This is where every driver is uncertain of the grip level. All drivers must adapt/defence/attack the same piece of track. Schumacher happens to be consistently better than all the young guns and this marks him as a real champ and Mercedes knows it. This is why Mercedes will have no problem renewing his contract if he wish to continue.

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: Phil R
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 12:56 am 

    We’ve had DRS this year, and like it or not, there is nothing we can do about the past…

    Looking forward, as the FIA have been fairly responsive this year to adapting the zone length, dual zones etc, I think we can assume that the worst examples of it being too easy, Montreal, Yas Marinas etc will be reduced . I’m not convinced at present, but given time to perfect, it can add to the show.

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: Koby fan
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 1:50 am 

    I’m sure the stats look good but not sure if the DRS overtaking looks good. I can only recall a couple of memorable passes executed this year (Vettel on Alonso – Imola; Webber on Alonso – Spa; Button – Canada)

    A better statistic might be to filter out passes executed by a driver on another driver or team who is placed higher on the championship ladder (or only 1 or 2 places lower). No big deal if Buemi, Schumi, etc. overtakes a HRT or Virgin. Actually the more I think about it, overtaking a HRT using DRS is more of compliment to HRT and Virgin.

    Don’t know why F1 is relying some much on aero – what aero technology is being transferred to road cars? Are we going to see DRS buttons on AMGs & Infinitis?

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: Arya
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 2:53 am 

    I believe stipulation on number of times DRS can be used in a race rather than permanent DRS zones will make things spicier. That way, it will be down to driver ability and judgement to use his share DRS in every race. Might even see a change in strategy.

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: Liam in Sydney
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 3:12 am 

    To all the DRS hackers:

    To some extent, I agree that the DRS is a bit contrived and artificial. But this in only year one of DRS. Surely things will improve next season when the FIA has a yardstick by which to measure the correct amount of drag reduction is needed at each circuit? At tracks like China and Spa, the length of open DRS will be shorter than this year?

    Also, in terms of aero. Some have called the DRS a ‘cover up’ of the underlying aero-reliance of current F1 car designs. Which must also certainly be true. But what would you have the FIA do to stop this? They and the teams’ working committee’s have looked at this problem ad-nauseum to find a better way but nothing useful has been found. Shouldn’t we go with the best solution currently known, and tweak the current rules so it works more effectively? Like reducing the length the DRS can remain open? Or make the gap in the rear wing smaller?

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: ed24f1
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 7:06 am 

    I reckon this just indicates who has been underperforming in qualifying, not necessarily the best overtakers.

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: Craig in Manila
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 7:38 am 

    So, after excluding “Damaged Cars”, “Slower Cars”, “Team-mates” and “Lap 1″, Mercedes think that :
    55% of all overtakes (25 per race) are deemed to be non-DRS related
    45% of all overtakes (20 per race) are deemed to be due to DRS
    Is it just me or does anyone else find this “data” to be inconsistent with recollections ?
    Surely this data couldnt have been prepared in such a way as to attempt to push an agenda ….? Stats never lie do they ?

    [Reply]

    Stefanos Reply:

    Seems like simple counting to me. Pehaps recollections are a bit more prone to error…

    [Reply]

    O.S. Reply:

    Craig in Manila,

    That’s the beauty of statistics.. memories and recollections are often faulty and clouded by individual driver preference.. Stats give us the cold, sober truth for us to analyse.

    Looking at the 55/45 split as an average some of us may feel this is wrong – those who believe DRS to be too “artificial” and those who point to races like Turkey.

    But for every Turkey there was an Australia where most were agreed that the DRS had virtually no impact..

    So then it becomes a question of emphasis and which races are quoted and recollected the most..

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: F1fan
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 11:41 am 

    is there any chance you could post the full rankings? curious to see how everyone stacks up.

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: robert
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 12:01 pm 

    Hello James,

    Are there stats on who has gained or lost the most positions in relation to their grid position this year (excluding retirements)?

    And also in terms of racing and qualifying aginst their team mate?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Yes, look at the bottom of my race preview story on Brazil

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: Nick
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 12:21 pm 

    I think that passes need to be divided and counted for several groups: group1 = top 1-5 drivers, next group = 6-10, etc …

    And the most important, I think, is to count only passes within the group and if someone made a particular overtaking for a driver from the higher group.

    Then we will see several pass masters.

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: Robert
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 4:10 pm 

    DRS is absolute junk and if they keep it up I won’t be watching for much longer. Why oh why does Interlagos need DRS? Bin the wings and lets have beautiful racing cars again, low downforce and more driver input.

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: andy
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 4:19 pm 

    Seen a lot of complaints about the double DRS zones and that the overtaken car can just pass back at the next zone. What I don’t understand is why wouldn’t the drivers wait until the 2nd zone before overtaking so that they cannot be taken back

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: Flakey
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 5:01 pm 

    Any truth to the stories that Kubica is going to need at least 6 more months of recovery and will definitely miss the start of the 2012 season?

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: nathan
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 5:37 pm 

    I think there should be a Kers zone and forget the DRS, and if you happened to have not charged the system enough then tough luck. This would also cause the drivers to push at all times.

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: AndrewM
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 7:13 pm 

    The current generation of drivers are maybe the most talented there has been in the sport. However, in my opinion, the rules have never been worse. A single engine specification with development forbidden despite the need of mass production car manufacturers to push engine design as never before to meet legislation. Hopefully the development restrictions will not be reintroduced after 2014. Unlimited aero design which has no other relevance and prevents cars from following another closely. No testing. Thereby making the best car out of the box harder to catch. No such thing as a racing incident. Tyres designed to degrade. DRS to eliminate the skill of defending a position. Having to use two tyre types during the race. Too much grip relative to the power available.

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: Jonathan Lodge
        Date: November 24th, 2011 @ 9:46 pm 

    I find the anti DRS brigade very strange. For years they have complained about a borefest and that we need to see more driver input. Now we have DRS addressing both issues directly they don’t like it.

    Certainly we should look at tweaking the implementation of DRS but we should be grateful for seeing a driver activated device being used.

    Personally I would like to see either more DRS zones forcing drivers to be more careful about where and when they make can overtaking work for longer than the next zone. OR we see them allowed to use DRS whenever and however they like during free practice (and quali?) so why not turn the whole thing around and make it so that they can add downforce only when they need it. Tune the cars to this and a driver might want to add it to get better traction out of some corners or even under braking only.

    Oh – and KERS should be completely unlimited in size and use. I would love to see say a known reduction of 5 litres per year for each of the next 5 years – over and above any reduction for the introduction of the new engines.

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Mike
        Date: November 25th, 2011 @ 8:34 am 

    Surely the reason why overtaking is such an issue these days is because the cars are so fast?

    Even the longest straights are no longer long enough because the cars all get to the end so quickly.

    If the speed of the cars was reduced somewhat, there would be more time, more space for wheel to wheel racing, don’t you think?

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: Spinodontosaurus
        Date: November 25th, 2011 @ 9:48 am 

    DRS adresses neither of your problems. It is an ATTEMPT at a work around, rather than fixing or solving the underlying problems themselves.
    Agree on KERS though.

    [Reply]


  43.   43. Posted By: Spinodontosaurus
        Date: November 25th, 2011 @ 9:48 am 

    That was to Jonathan, #40.

    [Reply]

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