Overtaking in 2012: statistics and analysis

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Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:45 am

What a year it's been again, in many aspects, and overtaking was no different. Whether it was Massa's crazy move on Senna in Singapore, Vettel's amazing comeback in Abu Dhabi, or the crazy circumstances that saw all drivers bar the HRTs overtake in Brazil, there was plenty of on-track action to be had in 2012.

Although the introduction of DRS in 2011 had a big impact -it saw more than tripple the amount of overtakes- something has to be said for the competitiveness of the field as well. With the cars being so equal, 2010 (remember, pre-DRS) already saw the most amount of overtakes (average per GP) since 1991. With 1135 on-track overtakes in 2012, this season was just 17 overtakes off the 2011-record.

And just when you thought it would be almost impossible to see as much action as we've seen in Turkey (125 overtakes) and Canada (126) last year, this season came to a bang with an unprecedented 144 overtakes in just 63 racing laps (8 behind the safety car).

Top overtakers in 2012
I've taken the 10 drivers from the top 5 teams, and categorized the types of overtakes, from 'all overtakes' to 'overtakes on top cars only with equal tires'. At the end of this article, you can see the numbers per race.

The overtaking figures -courtesy of Clip The Apex- 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.

All overtakes
1. Sebastian Vettel - 74 on-track overtakes
1. Mark Webber - 74
3. Felipe Massa - 65
4. Lewis Hamilton - 55
4. Romain Grosjean - 55

All overtakes, without backmarkers
Disgarding the overtakes on the teams of HRT, Marussia and Caterham
1. Sebastian Vettel - 51 on-track overtakes
2. Lewis Hamilton - 46
2. Mark Webber - 46
4. Felipe Massa - 45
5. Jenson Button - 41

All overtakes, without backmarkers, with equal tires
Disgarding the overtakes on the teams of HRT, Marussia and Caterham
Disgarding overtakes on cars with more than 5 lap older tires
1. Sebastian Vettel - 29 on-track overtakes
2. Jenson Button - 26
3. Mark Webber - 24
4. Kimi Räikkönen - 23
4. Felipe Massa - 23

All overtakes, only on 5 top teams
Counting only overtakes on the teams of Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Mercedes
1. Sebastian Vettel - 28 on-track overtakes
2. Lewis Hamilton - 25
3. Jenson Button - 22
4. Kimi Räikkönen - 21
5. Felipe Massa - 16

All overtakes, only on 5 top teams, with equal tires
Counting only overtakes on the teams of Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Mercedes
Disgarding overtakes on cars with more than 5 lap older tires
1. Sebastian Vettel - 17 on-track overtakes
2. Kimi Räikkönen - 16
3. Jenson Button - 14
4. Lewis Hamilton - 13
5. Felipe Massa - 12

Overview
Image

- 2012 overtakes races 1 to 5
- 2012 overtakes races 6 to 10
- 2012 overtakes races 11 to 15
- 2012 overtakes races 16 to 20
mnmracer
 
Joined: 17 Sep 2011

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:52 am

Could you list the people Vettel overtook on track in Abu-Dhabi?
"Il Phenomeno" - The one they fear the most!

"2% of the world's population own 50% of the world's wealth."
Nando
 
Joined: 10 Mar 2012

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:59 am

Never likeD the overtaking statistic, it would mean something if the cars were equal.

As it stands it seems to be a reflection on some kind of bad qualifying or race incident rather than anything meaningful.
Last edited by JimClarkFan on Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
JimClarkFan
 
Joined: 18 Mar 2012

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:02 am

Nando wrote:Could you list the people Vettel overtook on track in Abu-Dhabi?

Could you list the people Alonso overtook on track in Valencia?

It's sad how you can't go one topic without an agenda as you know the answer to said question.
These are the numbers and the context. Take it or leave it.
If you're not someone that thinks it's interesting, there's no one forcing you to read (or comment).
mnmracer
 
Joined: 17 Sep 2011

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:14 am

JimClarkFan wrote:Never like the overtaking statistic, it would mean something if the cars were equal. As it is it seems to be a reflection on some kind of bad qualifying or race incident.


It would mean MORE if he cars were equal, however it still means SOMETHING as it is.
Even if it is hard to quantify due to incidents in the race and qualifying issues putting people out of position.

Seb obviously was helped by Abu Dhabi/Brazil, but other cars had to come from the back at other times during the season, and it's still pretty impressive to lead every category including those against the top guys. I don't necessarily think it means he is the best overtaker, but it certainly indicates he is not an awful overtaker.

And interesting that Red Bull often had the slowest car in a straight line yet Vet and Web are both up there.
I would have guessed Ferrari would be highest given that their relative race pace vs qualifying position was pretty good. Though I guess some of the Ferrari passes are not included as they were on the first lap, often due to the fast starts the Ferraris made.
mbvinnie
 
Joined: 17 May 2010

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:34 am

It is funny that Vettel leads all categories of overtaking this season and still some people try to tell us that he is useless because he cant pass and only wins with the fastest car. :lol:
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)
WhiteBlue
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:15 am

JimClarkFan wrote:Never likeD the overtaking statistic, it would mean something if the cars were equal.

As it stands it seems to be a reflection on some kind of bad qualifying or race incident rather than anything meaningful.


Your dislike towards anything RB/Vettel related is so obvious in this one. If alonso/ham would lead the numbers, you'd be full of prasie. Vettel drove past his cars lack of top speed in spa briliantly, whereas webber was stuck behind cars lap after lap.
"The biggest problem is high speed because we are so much slower in high speed. I think even the World Series cars are quicker than us in high speed! That is no joke - unfortunately." - Jenson Button
Juzh
 
Joined: 6 Oct 2012

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:02 am

WhiteBlue wrote:It is funny that Vettel leads all categories of overtaking this season and still some people try to tell us that he is useless because he cant pass and only wins with the fastest car. :lol:

I know, right?

In China, some dude named "Kimi Raikkonen" was overtaken at least nine times on one lap. He's clearly an awful driver, and I don't know why he's allowed to race in "the pinnacle of motorsport."

EDIT: If that's too oblique for you or anyone else, the point is that overtaking has been substantially devalued over the last couple of years because of DRS and silly putty tires, two variables introduced to F1 specifically to increase on-track overtaking. Their effect has been rather dramatic.

Image
(also from Clip the Apex)

Further, had Vettel not come out on top of this "analysis," we wouldn't be reading about it here. We'd be reading about some other facet of F1 in which Vettel comes out favorably. And if that's too oblique, yes, I'm saying the OP cherry-picked a statistic to use to pile praise upon his favorite driver.

I, for one, interpret this information to mean that Red Bull foolishly adopted strategies that required a lot of overtaking. The best and safest strategies are those that put a driver in clear air to make the most of his car's performance. Maybe such poor tactical vision is why Red Bull only narrowly escaped with the Driver's Championship despite clearly having the best car, as evidenced by their easy win in the Constructor's Championship.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." ~ Mark Twain
bhall
 
Joined: 28 Feb 2006

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:38 am

bhallg2k wrote:In China, some dude named "Kimi Raikkonen" was overtaken at least nine times on one lap. He's clearly an awful driver, and I don't know why he's allowed to race in "the pinnacle of motorsport.

I knew we could rely on you to provide us with an in depth analysis and some much needed humour. :lol:
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)
WhiteBlue
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:25 am

WhiteBlue wrote:It is funny that Vettel leads all categories of overtaking this season and still some people try to tell us that he is useless because he cant pass and only wins with the fastest car. :lol:


He does only win in the fastest car 8)
NathanOlder
 
Joined: 2 Mar 2012
Location: Kent

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:28 am

bhallg2k wrote:
WhiteBlue wrote:It is funny that Vettel leads all categories of overtaking this season and still some people try to tell us that he is useless because he cant pass and only wins with the fastest car. :lol:

I know, right?

In China, some dude named "Kimi Raikkonen" was overtaken at least nine times on one lap. He's clearly an awful driver, and I don't know why he's allowed to race in "the pinnacle of motorsport."

EDIT: If that's too oblique for you or anyone else, the point is that overtaking has been substantially devalued over the last couple of years because of DRS and silly putty tires, two variables introduced to F1 specifically to increase on-track overtaking. Their effect has been rather dramatic.

Image
(also from Clip the Apex)

Further, had Vettel not come out on top of this "analysis," we wouldn't be reading about it here. We'd be reading about some other facet of F1 in which Vettel comes out favorably. And if that's too oblique, yes, I'm saying the OP cherry-picked a statistic to use to pile praise upon his favorite driver.

I, for one, interpret this information to mean that Red Bull foolishly adopted strategies that required a lot of overtaking. The best and safest strategies are those that put a driver in clear air to make the most of his car's performance. Maybe such poor tactical vision is why Red Bull only narrowly escaped with the Driver's Championship despite clearly having the best car, as evidenced by their easy win in the Constructor's Championship.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." ~ Mark Twain



+1
NathanOlder
 
Joined: 2 Mar 2012
Location: Kent

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:46 am

mnmracer wrote:[...]

The overtaking figures -courtesy of Clip The Apex- 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.

It seems I wasn't as thorough as I should have been in my first comment on the subject. My apologies.

This is also courtesy of Clip the Apex:

Clip the Apex wrote:The data for 1981 and 1982 has been compiled by KekeTheKing using lap charts and video footage.

The data for the years 1983 to 2003 are as published in Michele Merlino’s 2007 Autosport.com article Passing Thoughts: F1 Overtaking Analysis, using Brian Lawrence’s methodology of recording passes (as listed below) made from lap charts of those races. We are grateful to Michele and Brian for their permission to include this data.

Data since 2004 has been compiled by Galahad and includes overtaking moves shown on TV coverage as well as from lap charts.
From 2010 to 2012, KekeTheKing has also contributed with additional video footage and analysis.

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.
bhall
 
Joined: 28 Feb 2006

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:50 am

bhallg2k wrote:Further, had Vettel not come out on top of this "analysis," we wouldn't be reading about it here.

So true, =D>

We might have read about it but mmracer would not touch it with a stick even.
"Il Phenomeno" - The one they fear the most!

"2% of the world's population own 50% of the world's wealth."
Nando
 
Joined: 10 Mar 2012

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:04 am

I believe a much fairer comparison/analysis could be made, if the last race was omitted. The Brazilian GP was a mixture of chaotic track accidents, widely different tyre strategies, tyre watmup issues etc. If you see, most of the overtakes were of the natures where the overtaker would simply walk past the car in front.The best way to look at the data would be to look at each overtake on a race by race case by case basis. That would make for one heck of a thread. I do not fully agree with mnm's approach of clubbing the overtakes into the 5 categories as he has done. Especially the categorisation into top and midfield. The gaps between the team in the early season were so narrow that a midfield overtake was nearly as difficult as a top team overtake. And towards the end of the season an overtake on a team above you in constructors was in general almost impossible
ankitshah
 
Joined: 27 Apr 2011

Post Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:28 am

bhallg2k wrote:I, for one, interpret this information to mean that Red Bull foolishly adopted strategies that required a lot of overtaking. The best and safest strategies are those that put a driver in clear air to make the most of his car's performance. Maybe such poor tactical vision is why Red Bull only narrowly escaped with the Driver's Championship despite clearly having the best car, as evidenced by their easy win in the Constructor's Championship.

Well, I don't think an accident in Brazil (yielding 23 out of his total) is a team tactics. I'm a bit divided on qualifying incident in Abu-Dhabi (another 17) :D
timbo
 
Joined: 22 Oct 2007

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