There have been almost 1,000 Grand Prixs in Formula 1’s 69-year history and thousands of overtaking manoeuvres in that time. Overtaking is always a controversial issue whenever the regulations change, and most fans are hoping that the alterations to the front wings this year have the desired effect of making passing easier. However, if overtaking is made too easy, then the art is somewhat lost, especially with the introduction of DRS in 2011, straight-line manoeuvres rarely thrill the audience with good reason.
There have admittedly been some dull races in 2018, but some great moves as well, so do any of those make it onto our list? We’ve all got a favourite to overtake or two, so with that in mind, here’s our top 10 F1 overtakes of all-time!
#10 Alan Jones on Alain Prost and Rene Arnoux (Germany 1981)
The old layout of Germany's Hockenheimring was not too dissimilar to what Monza is like today, with long straights separated by chicanes for the majority of the lap. Normally, this would mean that overtaking would be aplenty, however, that's not the case, thanks to the low downforce levels that were required to be quick in qualifying.
Halfway through the race, Alan Jones was attempting to pass Alain Prost for the lead, but Renault’s turbocharged engine made this a nearly impossible task on the Hockenheimring’s long straights. The only way for Jones to get past in his normally-aspirated and underpowered Williams would be in the slower “stadium” section of the circuit, which makes up most of the modern circuit today.
On Lap 21 of 45, Prost attempted to lap his team-mate, Rene Arnoux, but his compatriot wasn't making it easy and was giving Jones a chance he couldn't turn down. Going into the Sachs-kurve, Jones took his opportunity, Prost was lackadaisical in his move on Arnoux and ran wide, believing that Jones wouldn’t be brave enough to dive in between the Renault’s but, he was wrong. Jones flung his Williams into a gap just wide enough to fit his FW7C through and made it stick to give him a very unlikely race lead.
That, though, was as good as it got in that race for Jones, as the Australian would later drop back thanks to a misfiring engine and would finish a lap down in 11th.