Formula One: Verstappen undertakes most overtaking moves

Max Verstappen leading Daniel Ricciardo during the Mexican Grand Prix on Oct 30. The Dutchman had more overtaking moves than any other driver this season, while Red Bull had the highest total of 136 overtaking manoeuvres this year.
Max Verstappen leading Daniel Ricciardo during the Mexican Grand Prix on Oct 30. The Dutchman had more overtaking moves than any other driver this season, while Red Bull had the highest total of 136 overtaking manoeuvres this year.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Red Bull's Max Verstappen made the most overtaking manoeuvres last season, more than any Formula One driver since such data was first collected in 1983, according to figures issued by tyre supplier Pirelli on Monday.

Pirelli said the 19-year-old Dutchman, who became the youngest ever race winner in Spain in May and is now a firm fan favourite, made 78 passes over the 21-race campaign.

Of the teenager's 78 overtakes, 18 were completed at Toro Rosso - his team for the first four races in the season - with the remaining 60 at Red Bull.

With Daniel Ricciardo contributing 61 passes and Daniil Kyvat contributing 15 before getting demoted, Red Bull, who ended the year runners-up to Mercedes, had the most overtakes of any team this season with 136.

In total, there were 866 overtaking moves completed by all drivers this season, marking an improvement on 2015's scant 509 overtakes.

Mercedes, who won all but two races and started 20 of them from pole position, were unsurprisingly the least overtaken team on the grid with just seven passes on them.

Britain's triple world champion Lewis Hamilton, who lost his title to now-retired Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, made the most overtakes in a single race - 18 in China, where he started at the back.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was the driver who was overtaken the least - only once and that was by Verstappen in the penultimate race of the season in Brazil.

The average number of overtakes in a race was 41.2, with Hungary seeing the fewest (10) and China the most (128).

McLaren's Fernando Alonso made up the most positions on the opening lap, 41 in the season.

Pirelli defined an overtaking move as one that took place during complete flying laps (not on the opening lap) and which was then maintained all the way to the lap's finish line.

Position changes due to major mechanical problems or a driver being lapped during a race were not counted.

Italy's race at Monza was the fastest grand prix of the year, with Rosberg winning at an average speed of 237.5kmh.

The fastest speed reached was 372.5kmh by Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas in a Williams during the Mexican race.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2016, with the headline 'Verstappen undertakes most overtaking moves'. Print Edition | Subscribe