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How many overtakes were completed in 2019 compared to previous years?

How many overtakes were completed in 2019 compared to previous years?

18-12-2019 11:02
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Nicolás Quarles van Ufford

The 2019 Formula 1 season was quite two-faced. In the first part of the season, F1 received a lot of criticism for its dull races, but then responded with a few absolutely classic races in the middle and latter parts of the year. This can be seen in the statistics for overtaking.

From a purely overtaking perspective, F1 has been through a few down years. 2017 was especially bad with 'just' 435 overtakes in the entire season compared to the 866 in the year before. In the five years before that, there were at least 700 overtakes as well.

More overtakes after bad 2017

The main reason for 2017 being such a bad year is because of the regulation change that year, which allowed the cars to be wider while generating more downforce. This made them very hard to follow for chasing cars. In the past two years, however, the overtaking number has steadily gone back up.

The number of overtakes went back up to 615 in 2018 and propelled to 747 this year, according to Motorsportstats.com. It's not yet at the level of overtaking we got used to between 2011 and 2016, but it's getting close. In those 6 years, there were 40 overtakes per race. Now, it's 35,5 per race.

DRS' vital role

Before DRS was introduced, there were rarely more than 300 overtakes per season. This underlines just how important it has become for F1. 

For example, we mentioned the down year in 2017 with 'just' 435 overtakes, but you'll have to go all the way back to 1991 to find a non-DRS season with more overtakes. There were 495 of them in that year. 

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