After Formula One nearly saw a 50 percent decrease in overtakes in 2017, fans again are complaining about the impact of the sport’s current regulations on the on-track product.
Sebastian Vettel isn’t, however.
Vettel recently told Motorsport.com that fans need to accept that not every Grand Prix will be a thriller from start to finish. The four-time F1 world champion noted that, even prior to the introduction of the current high-downforce cars, passing was inherently more difficult at certain tracks.
“Sometimes just relax and calm down and accept a boring race or a boring two races in a row and then there will be another great race after that and another one,” Vettel said.
Pirelli announced Tuesday that there were fewer overtakes this year than there have been since DRS was added to F1 in 2009. The wide 2017-spec produced more dirty air, making it more difficult to follow cars closely, resulting in fewer passes.
That said, because it was difficult to get by other cars, drivers often had to show tremendous commitment to make a move on another competitor. As a result, the moves that were made were more impressive — as well as more satisfying.
“I don’t think we need another record every race, to have more overtaking and more overtaking,” the German driver said. “It’s true that overtaking sometimes, especially if you’re behind and you’re fast and you can’t get past for those reasons, it annoys you. But then again, if you make the move, there is a massive reward inside the car, sometimes out the car.”
The challenging nature of the current formula also has allowed certain drivers to shine above the rest. Daniel Ricciardo, for example, has made a name for himself as a late-braker, completing 10 percent of the total passes in 2017.
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