Doubts about the 2017’s wider and faster cars being harder to overtake, became true this year as passing reduced to nearly half, the worst ever in the DRS era.
Pirelli’s report on 2017 campaign came out on Monday which shows that the number of overtakes in the 20 races of the season has come down to 435. This is a 49% drop compared to the massive 866 passes recorded in 2016.
Last year saw a record number of overtakes, the highest since 1980 when F1 started to record all the passes in the grands prix. The lowest was in 2009 which saw a mere 211 passes. But that was before the DRS was introduced to encourage overtaking.
In 2017 the highest number of overtaking was seen in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at Baku. A total of 42 passes were recorded during the race.
The lowest number of passes came from the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, which saw only one pass in the entire race.
Daniel Ricciardo has emerged as one of the best overtakers on the current grid. He had a total of 43 passes during the entire 2017 campaign, almost 10% of all passes of the season.
Ricciardo made his highest number of passes at the British Grand Prix where he started from the back of the grid due to a gearbox and power unit change. The Australian started at 19th place and ended the race at 5th with an impressive 13 passes.
Red Bull’s younger driver Max Verstappen was also an active overtaker with a total of 22 passes in the season, making the Austrian team the top overtakers of the season.
Apart from Ricciardo, Lance Stroll has shown his love for the move with 36 passes this season, including his excellent recovery from poor qualifying results to overtake most cars in the first lap of the race.