Last pass for the lead?

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    i was wondering when was the last time a pass for the lead occured in f1. i’m talking about a lap 2+, non-team orders on-track overtake for p1. if you want to harp about team orders, i don’t want to hear it.

    i’ve watched the 2009 and 2010 seasons many times, and i can’t recall the lead changing without a pit stop. how many years has it been?


    Hamilton on Webber at the Canadian grand prix 2010. However, Mark was on worn tyres.

    I can also remember Belgium Grand Prix 2008 between Raikkonen and Hamilton on the final few laps. Hamilton took the lead at the first corner with light rain starting to fall on the track. Raikkonen re-took the lead but eventaully span out of the race.


    Ned Flanders

    Button on Hamilton at Istanbul 2010

    Hamilton on Button at Istanbul 2010

    (I think that counts, doesn’t it?!)

    Vettel on Webber at Istanbul 2010

    (He was in the lead for a good two seconds before he went off, I reckon!)

    Also, there are sometimes passes which are effectively for the lead of a race, even though the drivers involved might be lower down the order. One example of this which springs to mind is Hamilton on Webber at Hungary 09. Alonso was in front of them at the time, but he was on a different strategy and thus out of synch



    ah yes, red bull hung webber out to dry with lousy tires and he settled in 5th. spa 08 was an incredible finish! ned, i’d certainly count ham/but.



    Tyres or no, I think the Canadian example still counts. I was actually watching it again 2 days ago, I couldn’t believe Red Bull thought Mark could go that long on worn tyres to minimise the time on the softs. Had they pitted him as soon as his lead started decreasing and given him hards, he could have blitzed back up to the lead again. he would have had to stop again, but maybe done another run and finished higher than his ailing team-mate. Conspiracies abound…

    Anyway to the best of my memory the last passes were:

    Hamilton on Webber, Canada 2010

    Hamilton on Button, Turkey 2010

    Button on Hamilton, Turkey 2010

    Raikkonen on Sutil, Belgium 2009

    Hamilton on Webber, Hungary 2009*

    Hamilton and Raikkonen on each other, Belgium 2008

    Hamilton on Piquet, Germany 2008

    Hamilton on Kovalainen, Britain 2008**

    Kubica on Heidfeld, Canada 2008**

    Alonso on Massa, Europe 2007

    * Though Alonso was in the lead at the time, it was widely acknowledged that he wasn’t going to win the race as he had qualified on light fuel purely to get pole

    ** Various theories about team orders have been suggested for these. Given their relative race paces at the time, I’m giving both the benefit of the doubt

    I think that list says a lot.


    Ned Flanders

    Icthyes, I definitely think you mean Raikkonen on Fisichella, not Sutil, at Spa ’09!

    It still galls that me that after their amazing battle for the lead, neither Hamilton nor Raikkonen actually won the ’08 Belgian GP…



    Haha, oops!

    It galls me too Ned. I was very sympathetic to Alonso getting a penalty after Kubica had retired from Silverstone last year for precisely that reason. You could argue they still gained an advantage by not losing time behind another car, well why not just add 1 second on for every lap he would have been stuck behind them?

    I can still remember Martin Brundle’s quote, “The guy who was passed at the start and didn’t overtake anyone won the race”

    10 overtakes for the lead in the last 72 races…I still bet that’s more than the “good old days”



    ” I was very sympathetic to Alonso getting a penalty after Kubica had retired from Silverstone last year for precisely that reason”

    I wasn’t. Alonso and Ferrari were warned and although I believe Kubica pretty much forced Alo off track Alo could have just backed up. As for Spa, it was far from the best way for a race to be won but the rules are there. I didn’t have a problem with the result just the way that the stewards seemed to go about it.



    Hamilton passed Massa on track for the lead in Turkey 2008 (he was on a different strategy and thus had a lighter car).

    Also, I believe Hamilton passed Alonso and Buemi on track in Canada last year.



    Re: Belgium 2008 (never gets old does it?) – I feel a lot worse for Hamilton in this case than I do for either Alonso 2010 or Button 2011. For a start he actually followed the letter of the rules, he let Raikkonen back through (which the other two didn’t, although admittedly the rules had changed) and I think he was forced off the track as surely as either of the others.

    Add that he thouroughly deserved the win and it’s not difficult to see why the conspiracy theorists were out in force.



    Thanks paul! I don’t know about the Turkey example, I think it might mean for the eventual win, but strictly speaking that also counts.



    You might also want to add Alonso passing Vettel in the GP that has become known as Bore-rain 2010, on the grounds that Vettel’s reliability problem was not race-ending (and didn’t even require a pit stop!).


    Dan Thorn

    How come no-one’s mentioned Alonso on Massa Germany 2010? That was an epic, ballsy pass for the lead right up there with Hakkinen on Schu at Spa 2000.




    Yeh but that falls under the same reason I didn’t include Button in China 2010 – it wasn’t a proper pass.



    China 2011

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