Shocking: F1 Technical Directors Say Only Different Tracks Will Bring Overtaking

What Happens When Someone Says Exactly What One Expects Them To

12:02am EST — According to an article published in the December issue of Racecar Engineering, Adrian Newey and Sam Michael, technical directors for Red Bull and Williams, respectively, have suggested that the answer to Formula1’s lack of overtaking of late is not changes to F1 technical regulations but “fundamentally, I think the circuits are probably the biggest influence,” as Newey stated.  He continued, “Everybody keeps conveniently forgetting about that, as it is deemed to be easier to change the cars than change the circuits.”

Michael said essentially the same thing, noting that, “One thing that hasn’t really been addressed [in the efforts to increase overtaking] at all so far is circuit design…You’ve got to ask yourself, why do you go to a race such as Barcelona where no one overtakes, and then take exactly the same cars to Monza, Montreal or Hockenheim and you get lots of overtaking.”

While these statements are certainly true, they should also not be particularly surprising.  If one thinks about it, what else are car designers going to say?  We cannot design a car that will increase overtaking?  Unlikely.  Still, it is also easy to forget that quite a bit of overtaking does occur during races, but it is usually confined amongst those drivers in places five and further back.  With the influx of new teams and talent (and the return of the historically quite aggressive Michael Schumacher) and the continued technical changes from 2009 into the 2010 season, some of those difficulties might be reduced.  However, these informed and hopefully influential men have quite the good point: rule changes will not help when tracks are not designed for overtaking but for their facilities and promotional attributes.



  1. […] This post was Twitted by MrSteveMatchett […]

  2. If there was a condition of qualifying that each team’s cars had to be able to stay extremely close behind each other and both maintain top speed (both A behind B and B behind A), maybe then the teams would figure out how to build cars that could pass and be passed.

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