We’re only halfway: 623 passes! 560 pit stops!

Nine races down with ten to go and already all kinds of records have been broken

Nine races down with ten to go and already all kinds of records have been broken

Jul.19 (Mercedes) The 2011 season saw the introduction of a number of major rule changes, most notably the implementation of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) and the introduction of Pirelli tyres. With international TV viewing figures on the rise, the changes appear to be a popular success. But what has been the effect of the new regulations so far? As we approach the halfway point of the season, here are the numbers to make an assessment…

Jenson Button battles for position with Felipe Massa during the British GP

Jenson Button battles for position with Felipe Massa during the British GP

How many overtaking manoeuvres have been made in the first nine races?
The raw total of overtaking manoeuvres during the first nine races is 623, including moves between team-mates, and passes by faster cars on the bottom three teams. This doesn’t include overtakes on the first lap or passes made because of damage.

What is the breakdown of overtaking manoeuvres?
Of the 623 passes, 175 were by faster cars on the bottom three teams and 43 were between team-mates. There have been 180 DRS-assisted passing moves, and 225 ‘normal’ (i.e. non-DRS) passes.

Which races have seen the most passing?
The top three races, using raw totals, were Montreal (136 passes), Istanbul (123 passes) and Shanghai (97 passes). The fewest were Monaco (22 passes), Silverstone (29 passes) and Melbourne (30 passes). Interestingly, the race in Valencia featured 44 passes – twice as many as in Monaco. Of these, 16 occurred in the first DRS zone and six in the second.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150  Italia. Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday 27 March 2011.

Fernando Alonso pursued by Mark Webber with his DRS activated during the Australian GP

What has been the influence of DRS on overtaking?
DRS has accounted for 29% of passing manoeuvres in 2011. DRS passes have outnumbered normal passes at four races: Shanghai (33% of total), Istanbul (41% of total), Barcelona (35%) and Valencia (50%). The highest number of DRS passes was at Istanbul (50), followed by Shanghai (31) and Barcelona (29). The fewest were in Monaco (2), Melbourne (5) and Silverstone (6).

What has been the balance between DRS passes and normal passes?
The race in which DRS passes outweighed normal passes to the greatest extent was Valencia: 50% of passes were DRS-enabled, compared to 11% of normal moves. The race at which normal passes outweighed DRS moves to the greatest extent was Monaco, with 64% of normal moves compared to 9% of DRS moves. The next most extreme was Silverstone, with 55% of normal moves compared to 21% of DRS-assisted passes.

How much passing has been done on the first lap?
Although it could be argued that the new rules have diminished the importance of track position in the early stages of the race, a good first lap remains an important asset. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher have only lost position on the first lap on three occasions between them this season (excluding the damage Michael sustained on lap one in Australia). Michael has made up three or more places on the first lap on four occasions; the best of these was a gain of five places on lap one in China.

Sebastian Vettel during the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on July 26, 2011, in Valencia, Spain.

Sebastian Vettel makes one of 560 pitstops so far made this season

How have the tyres affected the racing?
From all of the normal passes, just over 55% occurred when the difference in tyre age between the two cars was less than five laps, and 45% when it was more than five laps. Of the 180 DRS moves, 52% had tyre age difference of less than five laps, and 48% when it was more than five laps. The race where the difference in tyre age had the biggest impact was Barcelona, where ‘old’ tyres accounted for 69% of passes. The least influential races were the wet events in Montreal and Silverstone.

How many pit-stops have there been in 2011?
In nine races, there have been a total of 560 pit stops (this raw total includes penalties). Of these, 11 have been drive-through penalties and four have been ten-second stop-go penalties. The race with the highest number of stops was Istanbul (82 stops), followed by Barcelona (77 stops) and Montreal (76 stops). The fewest number of stops were in Monaco (43), Melbourne (46) and Silverstone (54). Two races have seen no penalties served – Barcelona and Valencia. The highest number of penalties was in Montreal, with four drive-through penalties.

  • http://Thailand Muddles

    Drivers are worried about passing incase they touch another car and cop a penalty.
    A lot of pit stops, an amazing spectacle of F1.
    Tyres made of licorice.
    My question is, how many lap records have been broken?????

  • Stewy33

    It should be 624 passes but Webber had to follow crappy team orders.

  • http://Thailand Muddles

    @ Stewy33

    Well said and very true. Good work.

  • F1_Fan

    @Stewy33… no it should not, he tried he could not… he admit it

  • Jacko

    There may have been 623 passes, but how many times have drivers been able to defend their position over a slightly quicker driver in a DRS zone?

  • Ger

    Ehh, Stewy33 – you might remember that Webber did NOT follow team orders. He ignored tham and actually tried his best to pass and just didn’t mange it (more’s the pity!)…

    New rules and tyres are great for the sport. It would be an even more fantasitic season if Vettel was not running away with it so much. Lets see what happens from here…

  • Lightning McQueen

    halfway : 623 passes 560 pit stop. Maybe at end of f1 2011 season….1000+ PASSES AND 1000+ PIT STOP… GREAT REGULATION