Record-breaking F1 stat dispels overtaking myth surrounding Zandvoort circuit

Henry Valantine
F1 cars set off at the start of the FIA Dutch Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen leads the pack away at the start of the Dutch Grand Prix.

Zandvoort has a reputation in F1 for being a circuit on which it is tough to overtake, but Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix set a new all-time record for the number of overtakes in one race.

Sunday’s tally of 186 overtakes beat the previous highest of 170 at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix, no doubt helped by the ever-changing weather at Zandvoort.

The order felt like it was constantly shuffling during a frantic race in the Netherlands – and it has now come to light that the Dutch Grand Prix was in fact a record-breaker.

Want overtakes in F1? Just add rain

The first lap of the Dutch Grand Prix started in the dry, but it quickly became apparent that it was going to be wet at Zandvoort, with a heavy shower pelting the circuit and forcing some drivers into the pits on the first lap.

This prompted one shuffle of the pack as those on intermediate tyres flew past those who stayed out on slicks, before others inevitably looked to pit when the weather became too dangerous – apart from the Williams of Alex Albon, who braved it out for 45 laps on the same set of soft tyres through the entire rain shower.

Reddit user ‘catchingisonething’ pointed out that the previous two Dutch Grands Prix had decidedly fewer on-track overtakes, with 24 in 2021 and 23 last year, before this year’s total completely blew that out of the water (quite literally).

The total of 63 overtakes alone on the third lap is also a new F1 record for the number of passes in a single lap, surpassing the second lap of the infamous 2007 European Grand Prix at a wet Nurburgring, which saw 45 changes of position. recommends

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The manner of overtakes at Zandvoort on Sunday were broad in spectrum, happened at most corners on the circuit and when the rain came towards the start and end of the race, some drivers were able to control their cars better than others – and strategy played its part in determining the outcome.

Fernando Alonso is laying claim to ‘overtake of the month’ for his double pass on Alex Albon and George Russell for taking the low line at the banked Turn 3 when everyone else struggled for grip on the normal racing line – but there are no shortage of candidates for superb passes in what turned into a record-breaking afternoon at Zandvoort.

Read next: Dutch GP driver ratings: Charles Leclerc flops and unlikely stars emerge at Zandvoort