Overtaking in Formula One Grand Prix has been something of a rarity in contemporary F1. We look at how changes to the rules may help races like the Monaco Grand Prix.
Some simulations have suggested that by 2021 overtaking could increase by up to 50%. This would be extremely welcome, especially if we could also do away with the dreaded DRS. The Monaco Grand Prix is often accused of being impossible to overtake on, so could it even help here? In the past 13 years there have only been four overtakes in the top three drivers in the race. And how many have been legitimate, on track, overtakes? One. ONE! We had team orders in 2016 when Nico Rosberg was asked to move over for Lewis Hamilton. In 2014 Kimi Raikonnen passes Sebastian Vettel with gearbox issues. You have to go back to 2006 to find a legitimate overtake, when Mark Webber rand wide and Kimi Raikonnen pounced to take second place.
Some news out from the FIA in the last couple of days looks at the new front wing end-plates. This was primarily a change for the 2021 F1 cars brought forward by a couple of years, and designed specifically to make it easier to follow the car in front. The legacy design created an outwash that disrupted the airflow of the following car, reducing their downforce, and therefore the opportunity to follow and overtake.
The Australian Grand Prix is a bit of an anomaly in so far as overtaking has always been hard. But the Bahrain Grand Prix was one of the best I have seen in years. There was overtaking from the back of the field to the front. Getting the best start, and leading into the first corner, normally means you get to scamper off into the distance. But Sebastian Vettel stood no chance. Being overtaken first by his own teammate, Charles Leclerc, and then by Lewis Hamilton. Lets hope this pattern continues!
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