F1 – Nearly 150 passing moves so far in 2011 – report image

(Inautonews.com/GMM) There have been almost 150 separate overtaking moves since the five red lights faded at the 2011 season opener in Australia.

That is the finding of the Turun Sanomat newspaper in Finland, reporting on the success of F1’s new formula featuring moveable rear wings, Pirelli tyres and KERS.

The newspaper said Sunday’s 63 passes in China was the highest number recorded in dry weather in more than 20 years.

That number was more than the number of passes in the Shanghai rain two years ago, and compares starkly with the mere 9 passing moves during the 2008 Chinese grand prix.

Turun Sanomat said there were 56 passes in Malaysia less than two weeks ago, compared to 24 at Sepang in 2010. In 2008, there were just 5 passes during the same grand prix outside Kuala Lumpur.

Australia, meanwhile, was the least spectacular of the three races so far in 2011, but there were 29 recorded passes; up 4 on 2009, 17 more than in 2008, and 21 more than the Melbourne race four years ago.

“Lots has been said about the new rules,” said Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen after returning from China to Switzerland, where he lives.

“I agree they’re a great success; the races are unpredictable, more overtaking is happening, so they’re working.”