Overtaking, or the lack of it has been a big criticism of Formula 1 for many a year. 2011 has been something of a revelation on that front, with a combination of KERS, DRS and the Pirelli tyres providing far more passes than previous years.
If you are expecting more of the same at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Jenson Button thinks you’re likely to be disappointed. After practice, he told the BBC that he tried some overtakes during the race simulations in the DRS zones, concluding “it’s going to be difficult”. He pointed out that despite the long straights, the corners leading on to the are slow, first gear corners, making getting into the slipstream in the zone hard.
On the Yas Marina circuit, there is a slight tweak that could be made that would help with this. If they took out the chicane at T5/6 and used the additional straight down to what is T7, the angle of the corner would be opened up. This would mean that instead of it being a 1st gear corner leading on to the long back straight, it would be a 2nd/3rd gear corner, enabling the following car to stay closer accelerating out on to the straight.
The layout to this little modification exists already and with 21 corners on the circuit, I think we can lose a couple.