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The Overtaking Problem - Go back to manual gear-shifting 
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Go back to manual gear-shifting

A suggestion by one of our readers.

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(comments are sorted latest first)

Andy L from the UK suggests,

I am an armature racer that has just started to race F1 cars, although I have several F1 cars the most experience I have had is with a 1990 Arrows. In learning to drive this car it has become apparent to me that the key to overtaking is actually the gearbox. 
My Arrows has a 6 speed H gearbox, it is quite difficult (relatively) to learn how to use this and it is prone to mistakes. I can recall a race at Brands Hatch, paddock is taken in 5 gear, coming up to druids you have to brake hard and change 5>4>3>2 , which actually is impossible as the brakes actually are far quicker than the downchanges by far. (yes I know you can go 5>2, but get in an F1 car and try to do it without mistakes! then come back to me?). Also if you were old enough like me you may recall that if someone missed a gear he would surely be overtaken by the guy behind. 
Almost every angle that you look at it you will find that if you put gearboxes back to H manual I would guarantee more overtaking, maybe the drivers skill factors would also have to increase?

Heretic's reply:

The constant improvement of the modern car does tend to move towards leaving less and less for the driver to do, which does raise the issue: are we watching cars, teams or drivers?

Ideally, if the sport hinges around the drivers, they should draw their cars lottery fashion before each race. If based on team and or car performance more credibility should be given to the constructor’s championship.

I am sure that the introduction of more driver involvement in car performance will lead to cars that are hard to drive and cause the sort of driver error that would result in overtaking – but is that progress?

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