Sorry, Manchild, all I've got is ten years, I have no data on overtakings before 1997. About underbody aero, I think that, like we say in spanish, captainmorgan "has more reason than a saint".
Anyway, I don't know if this is resignation or pragmatism (you never know!
). So, if you still believe that anything can change overtaking radically
, then let me show you the averages for drivers last year. This is a more compelling story, or, at least, it can attract a couple of responses. First, the data (note: I'm leaving Kubica, and some other guy I don't remember now, out of this, they ran in few races, even if Kubica has a monster average of 4 overtakes per race, maybe a statistical blip)
Now, my extremely long opinion:
Evidently, a driver in Formula One accomplishes one overtaking per race, if lucky. This means F1 is a sport where most of the points are given at the qualy.
This could mean that the drivers are marvels of consistency, great wizards of coherence. They extract every drop from the car lap after lap; they have raced for ten, twenty, thirty years. We are talking about guys that manage to have a 4% difference in qualy, between the best driver in the best car and the moron in the horse-sleigh, as I’ve posted elsewhere.
We could, caricaturizing some recipes from other members of the forum, hamper somehow drivers, like if they couldn’t learn to use a gear lever. I think this kind of mistakes tended to appear when amateurs and princes drove F1 cars. These days are gone.
I’d say we are trying to understand extra- good drivers that have to make excuses when their accomplished time fall 2 or 3 tenths of a second under team predictions, which is roughly 10 meters. If we superimposed two laps on our TV, the car wouldn’t shift more than 5 to 15 meters between a lap and the other, barely a car length along the whole track. I dare you to do that on GP Legends or whatever.
It seems, from the "pecking order" of the graph, that some guys are not necessarily better than others for overtaking. I’d say, theorizing, that they simply manage to "put a foot in mouth" during qualification more frequently and, as a result, find easier to regain the missing position on race. Or this is my conclusion seeing Massa, Ralph Schumacher, Fisichella, de la Rosa, Rosberg, Speed, Monteiro, Button and Albers at the top.
Now we find Michael that, whatever you say about him, knew a couple of things. This tells me that there must be some differences due to the driver.
However, at the other end, among the people that overtake the less, we find guys like Barrichello and Webber that, perhaps, could be without enough incentives to overtake, or guys like Alonso or Räikonnen that maybe don't overtake that much because they are "wizards of qualy".
The differences are small: from three overtakes in two races to two overtakes in three races; from Massa, “king of overtaking in 2006” to Alonso, worst over taker in that year.
I repeat: one overtake in one race in average, if lucky. It’s not like a sport where long queues of cars are formed, desperately trying to overtake each other, restricted by regulations!
Mars is calling Earth: one overtake in one race. Got it, dear earthlings? Comply or risk being destroyed. Resistance is futile.
Seriously, I believe that tinkering all you want with F1 won’t change overtaking behavior too much. Since year 2000 FIA and GPMA have changed qualy method, tires, engines, drivers (at least a generation has come and go), tripled the amount of money, minimize risk for drivers as humanly possible, tuned regulations and changed financial and arbitrage institutions to no avail: we still have one overtake per race per driver.
You have to take in account the good drivers, the consistency, the well established pecking order between teams, the evident narrowing of qualy times in the last decades and the financial might that you need to afford an F1 car. I’m afraid that, if we don’t change the tracks, by making them a place where overtaking is easier, we will not see many changes, at least, changes that are worth the effort.
Of course, it goes without saying, changing tracks into ovals, Indycar or CART style, would be incredibly stupid. Shall we try a track 20 meters wide? I won’t delve again into the subject, but data shows you have 10 overtakes at aging Monaco or Catalunya and 30 at modern Bahrain or China.
Or (sorry, this is just a joke) should FIA tie one hand of the drivers behind their backs, use 2,000 hp power surges available on cars, and regulate mandatory tires made of plasticine (clearly marked with double white bands) to make the sport more enjoyable?
So… what do you think?
Last edited by Ciro Pabón on Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:25 am, edited 4 times in total.