Overtaking in Formula One is one of the most exciting and thrilling aspects of the sport. Fans can feel their heart pump when they see a driver dare to pass another driver. While winning a race is always the ultimate goal of any driver, it can sometimes be the number and quality of the positions that make them stand out.
Take a look at the record holder for F1’s most positions gained in one race. Also, take a closer look to other records related overtaking such as the driver with most overtakes for wins and the race that saw the most overtakes.
The most positions won in an F1 race
Jim Rathmann, Indianapolis 500.
Jim Rathmann’s record-breaking performance is one of the most memorable moments in F1 racing history. Rathmann holds an overall record for most F1 championship rounds. He won a remarkable 30 positions in the Indianapolis 500 in 1957 to be the runner-up. Roberto Mieres, who won 26 positions in the 1954 British Grand Prix to take the record for the most Grand Prix wins, set it in his sixth-place finish. Onofre Marimon, who finished third in the same event, after starting 28th on a grid.
Roberto Mieres set a record at the 1954 British Grand Prix. Mieres, despite starting at the back of the grid for arriving late, managed to gain 26 positions and finish in sixth, two seconds behind Maurice Trintignant. This feat was made all the more impressive by the difficult track conditions. Oil barrels were placed inside corners and caused visibility problems and rain. Mieres’ talent and perseverance on the track was evident in this amazing performance.
Juan Manuel Fangio also broke the track record at the 1954 British Grand Prix. However, he was later plagued by gearbox and car damage. Mieres, despite Gonzalez’s dominating performance and Hawthorn finishing in the lead lap of the race, was the focus of the spectators. They were impressed by his remarkable performance in the face adversity. His story is an example of the determination and grit required to win in F1 racing’s highly competitive world.
Who holds the record of the most wins in an F1 race?
John Watson, 1983.
Jim Rathmann holds the record for the most positions gained, but he didn’t win the race. So who is the driver that has gained the most positions in F1 races? John Watson at United States Grand Prix West is the answer. It was a famous motor race held in Long Beach, California and saw a stunning clash in 1983. There were 28 Formula One World Championship drivers in the second race. John Watson, a Northern Irishman, was in charge of the proceedings. He won his fifth and final F1 win, an achievement that will live on in racing history. Watson’s feat was achieved from the 22nd position, which is the lowest starting position a driver has ever been in an F1 race. Watson won the race by gaining 21 positions, one more than any other driver on the current grid.
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The 1983 Long Beach Grand Prix was a thrilling race with cars fighting for the lead over the entire 75-lap race. Watson’s remarkable talent and agility behind a wheel was evident in his rise to the top. Although starting from a disadvantageous position, Watson battled his way to second and passed Niki Lauda on the 36th lap. Watson’s determination and fortitude was evident, particularly as he battled cramps in his right leg. However, he managed to hold off Lauda to win a convincing victory by almost half an hour. The 1982 Detroit Grand Prix record had been set at 17th. John Watson was again responsible.
Over the whole F1 season, drivers have been overtaken by most
Max Verstappen passing Nico Rosberg, Brazil 2016
Max Vertappen was a remarkable debut for Red Bull at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. It marked a significant turning point in the Dutch driver’s career. He showed his talent and skill at the tender age of 18 and held off Kimi Raikkonen with a two-stop strategy to win. According to Pirelli’s season-end data, Verstappen had 78 victories over 21 races. He also holds the record for most season overtakes, with an average of 3.7 per race.
This record broke the previous record of 60 overtakes within a single season which was held by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher. Verstappen’s fellow teammate managed 61 overtakes. This would have been an incredible feat in and of itself, but for the young Dutchman’s remarkable achievement.
F1 race with most overtakes – dry race
Chinese Grand Prix 2016, 2016
The 2016 Russian Grand Prix was an intense race. There were numerous incidents and pit stops, which claimed the title of the race with the most overtakes (161). After a strong start Daniel Ricciardo took pole-sitter Nico Rosberg’s lead. However, Rosberg was able to regain his lead after a tyre problem on lap 3. Rosberg maintained his lead and stayed out of the pits during the safety car period. However, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel managed to climb the field after the pit stops. This added excitement to the race.
The race was unpredictable with many overtaking maneuvers and pit stops during the second half. Ricciardo took fourth place, surpassing Hamilton and Felipe Massa. Kimi Raikokonen overtook Hamilton for seventh. Rosberg won the race for his third win and extended his championship lead. The 2016 Russian Grand Prix was thrilling and still holds the title of the dry race with the most overtakes.
F1 race with most overtakes – wet race
Brazilian Grand Prix 2012 was an historic race. There were 144 overtakes, a record for a wet race. Drivers battled for position in the race, despite wet conditions and different tyre strategies. Sebastian Vettel, who was only looking for a top four finish to win his third consecutive World Championship title, started poorly and collided in the first corner with Bruno Senna. He battled his way up, even though his car was damaged.
Jenson Button took the lead from Nico Hulkenberg after safety car restart and Hulkenberg, who briefly led before colliding with Lewis Hamilton. The race was unpredictable due to the retirements of Hamilton, Paul di Resta, and the collisions between Senna and Vettel, Hulkenberg, and Hamilton. Button won the race, and Fernando Alonso finished in second. This secured Vettel’s victory in the championship, despite finishing sixth.
The 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix was an exciting showcase of strategy and skill. Teams made crucial decisions in adverse weather conditions and drivers took daring overtakes. The race was a record-breaking success with record numbers of overtakes. It will be remembered as one the most thrilling in Formula One history.
Overtaking is an integral part of Formula One racing and a skill that all drivers need to master. John Rathmann holds a record for most positions gained in one race. However, John Watson was the true master of overtaking and won the 1983 US Grand Prix with 22 positions. Fans will always be at the edge of their seats hoping for another spectacular overtake that will make F1 history.