Fans to see ‘real’ F1 passing in 2017

Feb.15 (GMM) F1 fans will see more “real” overtaking in 2017, according to Pirelli.

Some are worried that, as downforce increases dramatically this year, the shorter braking distances could mean much less overtaking.

But a key criticism of F1 in the past few years is that the overtaking aid ‘DRS’ has ramped up artificial passing to the point that it is hurting the show.

Tyre supplier Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola told the Spanish sports daily Marca: “Logic says there will be fewer overtakes, but they will be real.

“There will be no discussions for hours about whether the move was real or assisted. But also the ‘show’ is not only in overtaking,” he added.

Indeed, some believe that a big step forward this year will be the simplicity of the racing, helped by tyres that degrade less and are less prone to overheating.

“I expect we’ll see fewer pitstops,” confirmed Pirelli chief Paul Hembery, who said the laptime boost throughout the season will be between 2 and 6 seconds per lap.

“The cars will be faster, the drivers will be on their limit, they’ll be making mistakes and we’ll be seeing overtaking in that way. That’s how it should be,” he added.

“We’ll have a real world championship again.”

So instead of the races being more boring, Hembery explained: “They will become clearer and easier to understand.”

But what won’t be easy to understand – at least initially – is the 2017 pecking order, even though official testing begins in less than two weeks.

“To be honest, the first test is not much more than a shakedown,” said McLaren’s Eric Boullier.

Hembery agreed: “We will get the really, really relevant information only in Melbourne, because we often see a lot of sandbagging in the winter.”

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