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Pass master – Max Verstappen sets new record for overtaking moves in an F1 season
Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen
Posted By: Editor   |  12 Dec 2016   |  5:53 pm GMT  |  148 comments

Max Verstappen capped off a remarkable 2016 by breaking the Formula 1 record for the most successful overtaking manoeuvres in a single season.

The Dutch driver, who became the youngest ever F1 winner when he won the Spanish Grand Prix on his first appearance for Red Bull, made 78 passing moves during 2016, according to data calculated by Pirelli.

The Italian tyre company clarified that this was the highest number since records were first collated back in 1983 and explained how the overtaking moves were calculated: “An overtaking manoeuvre is counted 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.”

Max Verstappen

Verstappen, who was Voted 2016 Personality of the Year at the FIA end of season awards, had also made the most overtakes during 2015, his rookie year in F1, with 49 successful moves for Toro Rosso.

Speaking about his achievements in 2016 the 19-year-old said: “[It was] very positive – some special moments, especially with the victory of course, and then some great team results – the first and second in Malaysia was very special – so I can’t complain about this season at all.”

Pirelli also calculated that there were 866 overtakes throughout the 2016 season, with 41.2 taking place each race on average. The race with the highest number of overtakes (in the dry) was the Chinese Grand Prix at 128, while the Hungarian Grand Prix featured the fewest with the field making just 10 successful moves.

2016 Chinese Grand Prix

The most overtakes at a wet race was the Brazilian Grand Prix, where 64 passes were completed during the rain-disrupted event.

The driver with the highest number of overtaking moves in a single race was Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who made 18 manoeuvres during the Shanghai race as he battled through the order from the back of the grid after suffering an ERS problem in qualifying.

Sebastian Vettel ended up as the driver that was overtaken the least throughout the year as he was only passed once – by Verstappen at the Brazilian race – during the 21-event season.

Pascal Wehrlein

Pirelli also released the total number of kilometres that were completed during test runs on the wider F1 tyres that will be in use in 2017. Only Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari conducted the programme, but the driver with the most mileage was Pascal Wehrlein, who racked up 3,248km on the new rubber for the world champion squad.

Pierre Gasly was next up for Red Bull on 2,494km, with Vettel third on 2,228km. The other 2017 race drivers to get a head start learning the new tyres were Kimi Raikkonen (1,054km), Verstappen (517km), Daniel Ricciardo (200km), and Hamilton (50km).

11313_numbers2016-tav1-en

What do you make of the news that Max Verstappen set a new record for overtakes in a single F1 season during 2016? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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1

It’s not really that big of an issue who’s done the most overtaking, more important is who gets overtaken and how little time it takes. In this class of it’s own Verstappen sets another record, not was Verstappen the only single driver to overtake Mercedes drivers, he pretty well doesn’t waste much time doing so.

The way Verstappen makes up for lost places (after start issues, pit stops, wrong qualifying or an occassional first lap incident) is what sets him apart. Lap 10 US-GP, Verstappen doesn’t waste a single moment overtaking Button after a pitstop. Although not his best race, but Verstappen cutting like a warm knife through butter in Monaco would have been as big as Brazil if he wouldn’t have crashed. Brazil and ofcourse Abu Dhabi are examples of not wasting any time.

Verstappen was the only driver who overtook Rosberg in a much faster car (more then once), and how on earth could he get in front of Ricciardo in Abu Dhabi comming from last…..?

2

JAMES,
WHILST I COMPLETELY AGREE THAT VERSTAPPEN IS ASTONISHING – YOUR STATISTICS ARE POTENTIALLY VERY MISLEADING. UP UNTILL RECENT TIMES DRIVERS DID NOT HAVE PUSH BUTTON TO PASS, NOR DID THEY HAVE A MOVEABLE AERODEVICE DRS AND CERTAIBLY HAD BO WHERE NEAR THE NUMBER OF GRAN PRIX IN A SEASON AS NOW. WHILST I RESPECT YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF F1, I’M NOT IMPRESSED BY THE TYPICAL MEDIA TYPE USE OF STATISTICS TO RE-INFORCE A POINT THAT PROBABLY DOESN’T NEED IT.

3

Polite note

No capitals please

4

Impressive to see how many overtakes Max did in 2016 vs other drivers.
But to keep a proper perspective, you would have to list also then how many positions he lost in the same, by his own means. (spinning off, crashing with others, etc etc.)
As it stands, Ricciardo made more points than Max over the same races in the RB car, and that with less overtakes. So to me that indicates that Max could only make all these overtakes due to self-inflicted harm that dropped him back behind inferior cars. (poor quali versus car potential and poor race craft consistency)

5

I reckon if Vettel was driving in that Merc, then he wouldn’t even be passed once in 3 years. That guy is helluva smart guy!

6

James,
Why did they produced 8 times more wet tires, of what they actually used?
Okay, they didn’t know how many they will eventually use, but still, can’t they bring to the race the tires they didn’t use on the last one? I6t seems as if they’ve produced new ones for the every race.

7

You might have forgotten?
Neither Pirelli or Bernie had expected the violent driver/team uproar against the artificial sprinkled wet race periods at each race, that Bernie otherwise had planned for this season to spice up the show. ;o)

8

Dear James Allen, (since there are many James here)

Let’s not miss an opportunity. If Pirelli did the data crunching to 1983, can we have the data to evaluate here? As in annual passes, and per race average, so we can look at evolution of F1 1983 till now, through engine eras, pre DRS and post DRS? I mean, if the data is there, let’s have at it and come to come conclusions based on passes.

Best Regards.

10

There is no doubt that DRS has given F1 a huge boost on passes in a race as the trend was clearly downwards. But as always…fine print is fun to read.

>>>
As such, it is not possible to draw anything other than the broadest conclusions from analysing across all data sets since the methodologies used to collect the data are different.

The overtaking figures for each race (across all data sets) do not include:

Position changes on the first lap of the race
Position changes due to drivers lapping backmarkers
Positions gained in the pits
Positions gained due to drivers yielding
Positions gained when a car has a serious technical problem; e.g. puncture, accident damage, etc.

The final criteria involves subjective judgements and consequently figures can never be regarded as ‘definitive’. Gaps in the available data, such as moves missed by TV cameras or obscured on lap charts by pit stops or retirements, mean that the data do not lend themselves to detailed analysis at the micro level, but are indicative of general trends.

11

downplaying data does not nullify the facts.

12

Here is the funniest thing in that graph.

the 1995 to 2009, it easily covers peak F1 viewing and attendance figures – which are probably 1995-2005. So lowest passing doesn’t correlate to viewing records or size of F1 fan group.

Interestingly, that period covers V10s and constant forward speed momentum of F1. But oh…those V10s!

13

Not saying it does. It just makes fun reading.

I think the conclusion is clear. As technology improved, so this the consistency and reliability and predictability. Qualifying does put the cars in order of speed, and by default it takes away from passing potential.

V12 to V10 to V8 you see a constant trend downwards to less and less passing until we get DRS, which spikes up the passing, but clearly it’s not the same type of passing that was here in 1980s when same levels were seen.

It’s an easy solution. No more qualifying – at all. GP starts in reverse order of WDC standings, with WDC in the back. You wouldn’t need fake DRS, would you?

14

Well it’s good to know then that Max did most of his overtakes without DRS.

15

…now if only we had engines from 8bit days!

https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2016/12/8-Bit_F1_2016_Season_Review.html

Speaking of which, no season review this year James for Santa to put under thousands of trees? 21 races were just enough to make the annual not doable?

16

Max is a great overtaker no one can have doubt about that. But the statistics is flattered by the fact he has a great car and is probably the guy with a fast car who was most often our ofirst sequence.

If he was more often at the end of lap one at the position he qualified to, he would have less cars to overtake

17

Very talented but too cocky and overly aggressive in my opinion. He needs to be humbled a bit I think.

A mediocre 2017 might do him a world of good.

18

Anyone else watched the Formula 1, F1 Story of 2016 8 bit. Loved the bonus level😊

19

I retweet:
Ealdfrith1 Star
No mention whatsoever to Alonso being the driver with the most overtakes on the first lap… in a McLaren. Too bad…

20

It would be very interesting to see how many of his passes were with DRS and how many of the other’s were. I suspect, when compared to the other drivers, his record would be even more remarkable

21

Lets not forget some of his under braking sheer repugnence to other drivers, but theres been some lovely overtakes as well.

22

i wonder who holds the record for the number of overtakes for the lead.

23

Interesting photo in the main article banner of Rosberg imitating Hamilton crowd surfing, but Rosberg only did it with team members and Hamilton with a random crowd of fans.

One recognises and trusts the fans and gives something back.

24

They were both pretty lame crowd surfs, if you ask me…

25

Still.feeling sore about Rosberg winning a bit? Some fans really. Marc

26

I wanna see Lewis doing that in Barcelona, Alonsoland xP

27

Yep Lewis on home turf with the home fans. awesome weekend. cant wait for British GP next season.

28

These days there usually aren’t enough fans at races to crowd-surf effectively! As if Hamilton invented it … Or as if there’s something wrong with someone celebrating winning the WDC! Don’t worry – Rosberg’s retired and poor Lewis will be able to exist in his own perfect micro-bubble next year. So, back to discussing the actual topic then!

29

That was (relatively) cheery – you should have seen my first draft! 🙂

30

Interesting tyre stats. I’m very surprised that less than half of all the slicks supplied were actually used, given that teams seem to be trying to save tyres so often in practice and qualifying.

31

Heck, I think Villeneuve and Arnoux beat that record at Dijon in 1979, in one race!

32

And that maybe even just during the one last lap of that race! ;o)

The best F1 racing I for sure ever have seen in my life.

33

The Red Bull with its high downforce is probably by distance the best car to attack in curves.
For the high power cars: If you are too far away at the end of the curve it will be very hard to attack even with DRS.
Another reason: Max had very very few poles, had to fight back after collisions/car problems, …

34

But he must be unique.. never done before in 23 year!

35

I think Red Bull deserve as much/more praise for this than anything. That car is like its on rails. It has more downforce than anything, it can brake later than any car and it changes direction quicker than a politician!. The only thing its lacking is about 40bhp from that PU.

We all keep talking about how brilliant that Mercedes W07 but I think in all areas within Red Bulls control that RB10 is astonishing. Not taking anything away from Max’s driving cause he maximised all its strengths, but surely when you can brake so much later, turn in easily and accelerate without even flinching- overtaking will always be easier. Further evidence is how great it was on its long run pace in both drivers hands particularly Dan.

36

No mention whatsoever to Alonso being the driver with the most overtakes on the first lap… in a McLaren.

37

Nice little stat to look back at even if it is somewhat meaningless to an extent. Vettel having been passed only once is more up there if you ask me. Has anyone ever done that or done better? However you interpret Max making the most passing moves this season, it still says a fair lot about his ability to race. Did he pass Hamilton during any race this season? That would be interesting to know as well. Lets hope Max keeps at it next year. Marc

38

Hi, Yes he was fantastic, but does it not say a lot about also how he was out of position so often ( like qualifying) or incidents? You can see why there are people who would like to see reversed grids

39

I wish there was a more comprehensive list for overtakes, a top 10 list of most overtakes, or at least a top 5.

40

Awesome stats but I’d almost say “who else?”. The Vettel stat is more impressive, I hadn’t realised. I thought Max was one of the drivers who was least overtaken and even though that can still be true: only 1 driver overtook Vettel (only once) the whole season? Wow!

41

THIS is actually what I would call THE MOST impressive stat of all !

42

@jeroen
And who was it that overtook Vettel😉

43

pretty unfair stat for the mercs who would qualify first. finish first.

stats comparing teammates starting and ending positions and relating teams starting ending positions would be more accurate in evaluating performance.

44

Avg Starting Position Ric = 3.5
Avg Finishing Position Ric = 4.1

Avg Starting Position Max = 5.7
Avg Finishing Position Max = 5.6 (4.7 without US GP DNF)

45

See that is the REAL stats right there! ;o)
That Max do a lot of overtaking is great for the spectators (and I like it too), but he only gets to do them because he at the same time loose so many positions due to his own/pitwall strategy faults.

46

3 start failures according to the team caused by malfunction electronics seem to had have some impact.

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