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Formula 1 Season: Passes Declined Nearly 50 Percent in 2017

Australian Daniel Ricciardo outdoes teammate Max Verstappen as the champ of overtaking maneuvers.

Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo supplanted fellow Red Bull team member Max Verstappen as the passing star of Formula 1 this year in a season that had the count of passes falling by half in the wake of quicker and wider cars.

During 20 races in 2017, there were 435 overtakes, or an average of 21.8 for each race, according to numbers released by Italian tire supplier Pirelli on Tuesday. Last year, there were 21 contests and 866 overtakes, or 41.2 for each race.

Ricciardo, champion of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, accounted for 43 passes while Verstappen accounted for 22 after accomplishing 78 of the moves in 2016.

The drop in overtaking was brought up ahead of the season as a likely result of Formula 1’s latest autos, which are quicker in corners but more difficult to overtake on many circuits.

Only one overtake occurred during the Russian Grand Prix. At the other end of the spectrum, 42 came during Azerbaijan’s contest.

Ricciardo and Verstappen’s team tallied the largest count of overtakes as well as tying with Ferrari for being passed the fewest times.

Pirelli counted an overtake as one that came during a complete fast lap, but not the first of a race. It did not include drivers overtaken because of major mechanical troubles.

Pole position this year was an average 2.450 seconds quicker than in 2016; the fastest lap was on average 2.968 seconds faster, the company said.

“We look forward to next season, with an even faster tire introduced to the 2018 range and with every compound going a step softer, which should help contribute to even more speed and spectacle in the future,” Pirelli said in its release.