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The Overtaking Problem - Braking 
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If the amazing braking ability of the F1 car can be restricted so that braking distances are increased it would certainly result in more overtaking. At present braking distances are so short that there is little opportunity for overtaking.

If the maximum allowable disc size is restricted we may well see some overtaking under brakes.

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Marc D from Canada adds

I do not know if limiting the disc size of the brakes is such a good idea. F1 is used for new inventions like a certain new suspension from McLaren. What if a new braking technique is found, will it fit FIA regulations ???

However, putting a limit on disc size would force teams to re-engineer their cars, something I love seeing, but at the end, they will find a way to allow the car to break faster than the driver can physically support. As far as overtaking, this solution would be short lived.

Increasing braking distance would require more calculation and finesse on the part of the driver to optimize performance on curves. It is a debatable suggestion.

Things being equal between each race, there is already a huge difference in the quality of the race depending on the circuit it is disputed. Already if we could get Spa quality everywhere we might not even be talking about the overtaking problem.

Yes as one reader has suggested, heavy breaking curves allow for passing opportunity, but I in terms of technicality, I believe that it is more the quality of the curve that allows for overtaking opportunities than the heavy braking portion of it.

Why?, because I believe that the passing opportunity created solely by heavy braking is created by the error of one of the pilots, were a wheel designed curve also allows passing when there is no error at all in addition to the risk of braking error.

Spa has 3 great heavy braking spots, but they are also great curves. Hakkinen did not pass Shumi because of a braking error, but because of a great curve (and traffic)that could be taken in more than one way

The Heretic's reply:


I agree. Brakes alone will change nothing. Halving brake surfaces will have an immediate effect but given a reasonable time we will be wondering how they managed to recover so fast.

Judging from the last season or two it seems that the tracks where overtaking are possible are also most likely to be changed. Monza has already been slowed with modified chicanes and Spa speeds were so high that I am sure they will change that too.

Maybe the issue is a safety one. The safer the circuit the harder it is to overtake, or is that true?

Daniel from Australia suggests:

I think a way to have increased overtaking is to increase braking distances.  At the moment they r braking so late that to overtake u have to say I am going for it.  If the guy ur overtaking doesn't c u and let u by then ur gonna crash.  There is no time for the car to get alongside in a so short distance.   I dont think going to steel brakes like indycars is the way to go though. It is funny the main thing that affects an indycar driver coming to f1 is the braking. Andretti found it very hard to brake so late.  Zinardi had trouble, he even asked the Williams team to put steel brakes on his car. I also think slicks will help.  Creating grip in a corner so when they r overtaking they can get a bit outa shape and hold it. I remember seeing Keke Rosberg doing a 4 wheel drift around a corner, that does not happen today.
If u get a little loose the car will spin, which is down to tyres and aerodynamics. I was also watching the Hungarian gp and the cars have outgrown that circuit, and also Eddie Irvine held up by a Minardi, cause the Minardi thought he was fighting for position, cost him 20 seconds, the Minardi is the slowest car but can still keep a faster behind it with ease.
I think we need to change more than just aerodynamics.  Change a bit of everything.

The Heretic's reply:

Now that is an idea - limit brake size or increase braking distance in some other way. Aerodynamic grip has certainly shortened braking distances.

The only problem is that I feel we should not stop or slow development in the formula. But then again, it is no different from limiting aerodynamic grip.

With aerodynamic grip four wheel drifts are out of the question - pity, because it took real skill.

Yes, the tracks do not work any more. Modern F1 cars have outgrown them.

Thanks for the input

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