Date: 28th February 2011 at 10:39am
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One of the issues in modern day Formula One is the lack of over taking.

In a sport loved for its passion and excitement, with elements of glamour and danger thrown in, modern day F1 has something lacking.

In recent years, the worlds best drivers have found it harder and harder to over take the car in front of them.

The aerodynamics of the cars make it difficult for drivers to follow closely behind another car for sustained periods of time, the cars themselves are designed to perform in ‘clean air’, whilst the ‘dirty air’ that comes from the rear wing of an F1 car hampers performance.

Developments in breaking make over taking harder, the best time to over take is in the breaking zone of a corner, but with the developments of breaks these zones become smaller and smaller, lowering the risk of a driver making a mistake.

For this season Formula One is introducing moveable rear wings and KERS are making a comeback, both with an idea of improving the spectacle of F1 with more overtaking.

Formula One legend Sir Jackie Stewart however thinks the issue is a fault with new batch of Formula One tracks.

‘My belief is that the major reason for the lack of overtaking in modern grand prix racing is down to the modern tracks, nearly all of which have been designed by the same man, the German architect Hermann Tilke.’ Stewart wrote in an article for the Telegraph newspaper.

Stewart believes that drivers are simply not punished for their mistakes in F1 any more, while he praised the sport for it’s leaps forward in driver and spectator safety, he believes a modification at the tracks would help to penalise drivers for their mistakes without compromising safety.

‘What if Tilke simply modified the corners around his circuits in such a way that if a driver runs wide he is penalised?

‘What if the surface of the run-off areas was changed so that a car?s traction is reduced and a driver going wide loses ground either to the car he is following or allows the car chasing him to pass?’

‘Making mistakes is something we all do. In most cases we have to pay for those mistakes. We shouldn?t die for them but we surely should be penalised.’


It’s a good point well made by the former three times World champion and a discussion which we have been having recently on our VitalF1.com Forum following discussions regarding the new regulations with KERS and moveable wings.

No doubt that if the new regulations improve the racing then the new devices will remain in F1 for the foreseeable future, but a change in track design such as the one suggested by Sir Jackie would certainly better suit the purists.