The straight down to turn 11 at Suzuka isn’t long, and the corner leading onto it, is quite fast, so, why can overtaking happen? Meanwhile, the straight of Abu Dhabi is over a kilometer long, so why doesn’t any overtaking happen there?
Truth is, having medium/faster corners before straights are better for overtaking than slower corners. Degner curve is perfect for such. If you have a harpin before a straight, the traction difference is simply too great.
That’s also the reason to why despite the fact Shanghai and Yas Marina have similar length straights, a lot more overtaking happens in the harpin at China than anywhere in Abu Dhabi. Reason? The exit corner before the straight.
I have been saying it for years. It is very clear to one if he has Racing Simulation experience. The corners at either end of a straight can’t be too tight or they become too traction dependent. Too fast and they become too aero dependent. Medium speed is the way to go.
Hairpin-straight-hairpin for overtaking is a common misconception. The car behind can only get close in the braking, but obviously loses alot of ground accelerating out of a slow corner to the car infront. It needs the whole straight just to close up the space it lose in the previous slow corner. End result? Overtaking very rarely or doesn’t happen at all.
But when a medium speed corner is followed by a straight. That is were the most overtaking happen. A1 Ring, Interlagos, New Hockenheim… you need some kind of medium speed corner before the straight. It allows the car behind to stay closer, then after a hairpin. The driver behind also has a visual reference point from the car infront, and with the right line and a good exit its easier to overtake.
Another one of the reasons is that having a medium speed corner before a long straight is better is because slipstream is much more powerful at high speed than at slow speed. So it’s better that cars are at high speed since the start of the straight.
The best combination for overtaking is:
Medium corner → long straight → hairpin.
That is why the stop-and-go Tilke circuits have failed.