F1 overtaking will be better at other tracks, says Bottas

Valtteri Bottas thinks it is wrong to claim that Formula 1’s 2017 cars have now made overtaking impossible, as he insists some tracks will throw up good racing this year.

F1 overtaking will be better at other tracks, says Bottas

Although there were very few passes in last weekend’s season opener in Melbourne, the Albert Park Circuit has historically been a venue where overtaking has been pretty hard.

But Bottas thinks what happened in Australia will not be repeated at all tracks – and he especially believes that the next race in China, with its long straight, will be a totally different story.

When asked by Motorsport.com about whether he felt harder overtaking in Australia was down to the track or rules, Bottas said: “I think in general it will be a little more difficult, but it’ll depend on tracks.

“The circuits with really long straights will be very good racing because also the slipstreaming has a bigger effect now, and DRS does too with these rear wings.

“So some places we will see good racing and some places like Barcelona it will be very difficult to overtake. Let’s wait a few more races and see how the racing goes, but obviously here [in Australia] it was more tricky than last year.”

Downside of rules

While few were expecting anything other than more difficult overtaking thanks to the higher downforce cars, Bottas does reckon it is a pity that those predictions have come to fruition.

“I think when you’re in the same car and with similar-ish tyres, it’s extremely difficult at a track like this,” he said.

“With the new cars, it’s more difficult to follow once you’re within two seconds, as you lose quite a large amount of grip. So we need big pace difference to really go for it to try and overtake. I think it’s a bit of a shame.”

Bottas’s views about Albert Park not offering a true picture of overtaking possibilities have been backed up by Kimi Raikkonen.

The fact that lapping cars had proved to be a bit easier left Raikkonen feeling that things may not be as bad as some have suggested.

“I think the lapping, I must say, it felt more easy,” said the Ferrari driver. “Obviously there might be a bigger difference between teams, so that kind of helps, but I think if you take any top team, top car, against another, it's never going to be easy to overtake.

“And with this car, it's only one race and this circuit is far from let's say a normal circuit. Some circuits will be more easy, some more harder in a year, and we have to see how it goes in the next races.

"But it depends a lot when people stop and what deg your tyres are at and the speed of the car generally.”

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