How to fix Formula 1’s 2023 overtaking crisis

The start to the 2023 F1 season has seen overtaking on the decline across the field

-

Overtaking in Formula 1 has suddenly become a real problem because nobody, except Red Bull, appears to be able to do so regularly, but what can be done to address the issue?

The Milton Keynes-based team have found a way to be quick in the corners and absurdly fast in a straight line which means they can cruise through the field when they haven’t qualified up front.

The 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku was a real wake-up call as Charles Leclerc qualified on pole for both the sprint and grand prix, only to be swallowed up and spat out by the Red Bull duo.

Compared to 2022, there are five fewer overtakes – on average – per race and a lot of those numbers will have been from Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez coming through the field at Jeddah and Melbourne respectively.

So is there an answer to the problem? Perhaps. Total Motorsport examines a couple of options.

Strip it back

The 2023 F1 season has seen the teams be forced to raise their ride height because the FIA were concerned over excessive porpoising when the cars were scraping the ground at the start of the new regulations.

All that has done is make things extra hard when following another car because there is just as much dirty air as before.

It might come with some resistance from certain teams who couldn’t get a grip on it but allowing teams to slam their cars to the floor again would make things much easier for those who have difficulty following closely to another car.

Another alternative is limiting the number of aerodynamic parts on the car. Front wings, bargeboards and all sorts all cause dirty air and make it extremely tough to stay close if you haven’t got an obvious pace advantage.

The only exception is at Monza where everybody runs as little downforce as possible. The solution here is to force them all to run with their Monaco wings at the same angle and create F1’s equivalent of a “plate race”.

Plate races in NASCAR are running with restrictor plates to keep speeds down on super speedways but that also means that the cars run extremely close all day.

You’re actually faster when you’re at the back because of the slipstream effect and if that could create an overtaking bonanza at Monza, nobody would complain because the Temple of Speed has become stale in recent years.

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis is a motorsport journalist with experience working in BTCC. He is the resident IndyCar correspondent for Total-Motorsport.com and a top class F1 writer.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Fernando Alonso ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola

Fernando Alonso gives candid admission on performance amid Aston Martin struggles

0
Fernando Alonso believes he's not been good enough individually as Aston Martin have struggled to recapture their 2023 form...
Andrea Kimi Antonelli tests the Mercedes W12 in Austria in his first taste of F1 machinery | Mercedes F1 team

Max Verstappen offers Mercedes starlet Andrea Kimi Antonelli advice on joining F1

0
Max Verstappen has given his advice to Andrea Kimi Antonelli on the biggest changes he should expect if he...
Yuki Tsunoda of Visa Cash App RB ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Unwanted Yuki Tsunoda eyes Aston Martin switch as Red Bull say no

0
Yuki Tsunoda revealed he could be tempted to abandon the Red Bull program for Aston Martin ahead of the...
George Russell at 2024 Japanese GP | Mercedes

Russell explains how Mercedes are closing gap on Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari –...

0
Mercedes are getting closer to Formula 1's current frontrunners Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari according to George Russell, who...
Charles Leclerc during the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix weekend | Suderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc reveals Ferrari’s key target to beat Max Verstappen in Monaco

0
Will 2024 be the year that Charles Leclerc finally breaks his Monaco Grand Prix curse? He’s hoping so as...
Max Verstappen during the 2024 Monaco GP press conference | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen warns Red Bull to avoid ‘stressful’ repeat at Monaco GP

0
Max Verstappen has warned Red Bull they cannot risk a repeat of what happened at Imola as the team...
Nyck de Vries of AlphaTauri, leads Kevin Magnussen of Haas, and Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo during 2023 Monaco GP practice | Sam Bagnall / LAT Images

Monaco GP 2024 F1 Schedule and Start Times

0
The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix sees the Formula 1 circus head to one of the one of the most...
Jake Dennis looks on at the 2024 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E

Jake Dennis downbeat about Formula E title chances: I need s**t to happen now

0
Reigning Formula E champion Jake Dennis isn’t optimistic about the chances of retaining his title, ahead of the 2024...
Formula E will visit the Shanghai International Circuit for the first time in 2024 | Formula E

Formula E returns to China as it takes on the Shanghai International Circuit

0
The drivers are certainly being kept on their toes this season. Formula E is heading to yet another new...
Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara of ERT during the 2024 Misano E-Prix I Formula E

Where to watch Formula E 2024 Shanghai E-Prix

0
The 2024 Formula E World Championship returns to China for the first time in four seasons, bringing the electric...
- Advertisment -