Video: Lewis Hamilton and Kamui Kobayashi talk overtaking with the fans
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Jul 2011   |  6:33 am GMT  |  10 comments

Here is the video highlights edit of Lewis Hamilton and Kamui Kobayashi’s appearance at the FOTA Fans Forum UK event at McLaren.

Fans wanted to know all about the pair’s prowess at overtaking and the two drivers did not disappoint.

“What does it feel like to actually pull off a fantastic overtaking manoeuvre?”, Hamilton was asked.

His reply: “It’s exhilarating. It’s probably the most exciting part of the race, when you’re not too fast compared to the guy in front. You’re just creeping up on him and looking to see where he’s weaker so that you can attack next time around.

“There’s a real science to it; I love it. Every person you catch you want to overtake immediately, but you learn how easy or difficult they are to overtake, so you have loads of things to weigh up. It’s massively, massively rewarding when do eventually get past someone. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard me, but I get really pumped up. I’m immediately on the radio and asking who I can attack next, I want to have that feeling again.”

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Funny thing is Kobayashi has just taken Hamilton out of the race


Part of the skill required for overtaking is also creativity, and the ability to adapt. This is something that not all drivers have.

First, you have to be creative in thinking of places to catch the defending driver off-guard. You also have to think of strategies to get past the car ahead; sacrificing one corner to get an advantage on the next; faking moves to get them to defend and compromise their corner so you can get a better exit; determine their minimum braking distance to potentially force them into a mistake.

Second, you have to be able to adapt to changing surface conditions and making different lines work. When you dive up the inside of someone, now you have to modulate the brakes differently to compensate for being off-line and losing some grip. Also, now that you are approaching that corner at a different trajectory (usually a tighter line), you may have to get the car to rotate a bit more by making it slide a little bit, so that you are pointed toward the exit. You may also have to “park it at the apex”, so the driver behind you can’t undercut you and get a run up the inside exiting the corner.

Then you combine the two, and end up with truly impressive passes like Kubica’s outside passes in Abu Dhabi last year, or Kobayashi’s dives up the inside at Suzuka’s hairpin, or the last-minute dive-bomb that Hamilton pulled off with Schumacher at Monaco. All brilliant, but all requiring a talent of knowing that you can take advantage of a weak point where they least expect it. Then, you need to have the talent to make it stick by adapting to the different surface conditions and adjusting their line and driving style to compensate for entering the corner off-line and getting a good exit to defend the position they’ve just snatched.


Hamilton has been instructed to sell DRS – garbage in equals garbage out…

DRS and KERS are anti-skill technology…

They have stopped me watching F1.

Artifical racing is for advertising only… not driver skill related at all…

The only real fix to F1’s woes is to substantially reduce the aero and get the cars back into being race cars and not have more wings then an aircraft…


Kamui says it all, DRS is too easy and is distorting the real battles.

I hope Kamui dropped a few business cards off while he was at the MTC, it would be good to see him in a faster car.


Well, it is better than it was previous years. It is not like they have overtaking in each corner and on every lap.

The last races have not been so exciting and entertaining as the first ones.

I find it hard to understand that people complain that there is too much of something if in reality there is (at least partially) a return to processions.

The tyres become more and more durable.

I can agree that maybe drivers consider some overtakes as too easy but they are still trying to find a balance.

The races this year have generaraly been good, but there is no title fight. It is a fact.

Newey has already said that Red Bull are thinking about switching the focus to next year (while also developing this years car).

That says it all. That car will be good all season even with minor developments and they can confidently turn more attention to 2012.

As ever, all of this says something about the competition and opposition. Everybody can make their own conclusions.



Is there any stats this year for overtakes per driver per race?

Also is there any chance of publishing the winter test dates as soon as you have them? We always find them hard to get and early flight bookings save lots of cash for Spanish beer tokens!

Many thanks, and like the new look site.


Here’s a list of who pulled off the most passes last year.


Great James D. Many thanks.


Too bad I’m not living in the UK…

Sebastian Morrison

It’s great to hear Lewis so animated as he talks about overtaking – you can see how passionate he is about what he does. I Wish I could have been there… thanks for the vid!

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