IMAGE : Jenson Button passes Mark Webber during the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.
One of the biggest changes in the 2011 FIA Formula 1 World Championship was the addition of DRS and the return or the Kinetic Energy Recovery System, more commonly known as KERS. Both these additions were to help the amount of overtaking in Formula 1 rise, and if that was their target, mission accomplished. Whether it was with the help of DRS, or with the 80 horsepower boost of KERS, or just the pure talent of a driver, more than one thousand passes occurred over the course of the season.
Up to, but not including the Brazilian Grand Prix, there were 1436 overtaking manoeuvres including passes made on drivers with damage on their cars. Subtracting the amount of passes on drivers with problems with their cars, 1180 passes have been recorded since the Australian Grand Prix to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sadly 376 of these included minor crashes or could be described as "unclean passes". The other 840 are "clean" and have occurred without incident.
441 overtaking manoeuvres were completely normal, and didn't have any help from DRS or KERS. 363 passes were helped by DRS and KERS which meant that about 55% of the passes were normal and the other 45% were by the help of the new rules. Three hundred passes were the faster cars lapping the three slow teams and only 76 passes were between teammates.
Tracks with better overtaking are Turkey, which saw 85 clean overtakes, Canada, which saw 79, and China with a total of 67 clean passes. The tracks with the worst passing are Monaco, with only sixteen, Australia which brought 17, and India, with 18. Nine races saw more than 50 passes, while the other nine didn't. In eight of the races, more moves were helped by DRS than just normal passes. In Abu Dhabi, 89% of all the passes in the race were in the DRS zones. Monaco only had 13% DRS passes.
Who has made the most passes this season? This answer might surprise you. Sebastien Buemi has 112 passes over the course of eighteen races, and is right ahead of Michael Schumacher with 111. The best starter, however, is Schumacher, who has made up 34 places off the line. Next would be Buemi with 29 followed by Heikki Kovalainen in the Lotus with 28. The man with the least amount of positions gained at the start is Sebastian Vettel, who has made only one overtake at the start this season.
IMAGE : The McLaren boys go at it in Turkey. This is one of only seventy-six inter-team passes in 2011.
The drivers with the most passes not including the opening lap are Sergio Perez and Sebastien Buemi who both have made 82 overtakes. That's quite something for Buemi, who has retired from five races this year. It's not too bad for Perez either, knowing that the Mexican rookie missed two races after a crash in Monaco.
There's the passing totals! Hope you enjoy! Who will be the pass master next year?