F1 2017: Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo tops overtaking charts
Ricciardo takes over F1's 'passing master' mantle from Verstappen, but F1 2017's faster cars deliver sharp decrease in overtaking moves
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 05/12/17 4:37pm
Daniel Ricciardo completed more overtaking moves than any other driver in F1 2017, it has been revealed.
According to data released by tyre supplier Pirelli, Red Bull driver Ricciardo made a grid-best 43 passing moves during the 20-race campaign despite retiring six times.
Team-mate Max Verstappen had topped the overtaking charts in each of his first two years of F1, but the Dutchman's tally was down from a record 78 in 2016 to 22 this year.
But Verstappen and world champion Lewis Hamilton were the drivers who were overtaken the fewest times - just twice apiece.
What is classed as an overtaking move?
Pirelli's numbers are based on the following calculation method:
'An overtaking manoeuvre is counted as one that takes place during complete flying laps (so not on the opening lap) and is thenmaintained all the way to the lap’s finish line.
'Position changes due to major mechanicalproblems or lapping/unlapping are not counted.'
A Red Bull car was passed just 11 times in total, the fewest times in the field.
Ricciardo's sole victory of the season came from 10th on the grid in June's Azerbaijan GP and it was the unpredictable Baku event which produced the most overtaking moves during a race - 42.
By contrast, the Russian GP at the Sochi Autodrom saw just one pass all race.
What about overtaking over the season?
F1's push for faster, more aggressive cars delivered on the stopwatch this year with the 2017 machines lowering average pole position times by 2.5 seconds and race fastest laps by three seconds from 2016, according to Pirelli.
However, fears that the big increases in downforce, and more durable tyres, would harm overtaking were also realised with a 49.8 per cent drop in passing moves.
There were 435 on-track overtakes in 2017, down from 866 across 21 races last year. The 2016 figure was the highest since records began in 1983.
In 2015 there were 509 moves and 636 in 2014, the first year of the current hybrid engines.
Meanwhile, the return to tyres which lasted for longer resulted in fewer pit stops with only 533 this year compared to 933 in 2016.
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