Verstappen made most overtakes in 2016
By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - Red Bull's Max Verstappen made the most overtaking manoeuvres last season, and more than any Formula One driver since such data was first collected in 1983, figures issued by tyre supplier Pirelli showed on Monday.
Pirelli said the 19-year-old Dutchman, who became the youngest ever race winner in Spain in May and is now a firm fan favourite, made 78 passes over the 21-race campaign with Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
Red Bull, who ended the year runners-up to Mercedes, were also the team who did most overtaking with 136 moves in total.
Mercedes, who won all but two races and started 20 of them from pole position, were unsurprisingly the least overtaken team on the grid with just seven passes on them.
Britain's triple world champion Lewis Hamilton, who lost his title to now-retired Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg, made the most overtakes in a single race -- 18 in China, where he started at the back.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was the driver who was overtaken least, once only and that was by Verstappen at the penultimate race of the season in Brazil.
The average number of overtakes in a race was 41.2, with Hungary seeing the fewest (10) and China the most (128).
McLaren's Fernando Alonso made up most positions on the opening lap, 41 in total.
Pirelli defined an overtaking move as one that took place during complete flying laps (not on the opening lap) and which was then maintained all the way to the lap’s finish line.
Position changes due to major mechanical problems or lapping/unlapping were not counted.
Italy's race at Monza was the fastest grand prix of the year, with Rosberg winning at an average speed of 237.5 kph. The fastest speed reached was 372.5kph by Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas in a Williams at the Mexican race.
On a lighter note, Pirelli added that it served 15,600 meals in the hospitality unit over the course of the year, with 900kg of pasta and 420 pizzas cooked. Some 30,000 coffees were served and 7,500 desserts eaten.
(Editing by Tony Jimenez)