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.