China among best races in F1 history for overtaking

Statistically, the Chinese grand prix raced straight into the history books as one of the most exciting F1 events of all time.

“For me, we are having some of the best races in formula one history,” agreed Jenson Button after finishing Sunday’s Shanghai race behind Nico Rosberg.

Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper reports that only three grands prix in the history of the sport played host to more individual overtaking moves. The report said there were 72 passes in total on Sunday, not including the first corner of the race. Seven of the moves were on Kimi Raikkonen on one lap, after the Lotus driver’s Pirelli tyres gave up the ghost. Last year in Shanghai, there were 63 passes. So far in 2012, there were more overtaking moves in China, Malaysia and Australia compared to the same races last season.

Canada 2011 still stands as the site of the most passes during a single grand prix, at 89. In second place are the 1983 US grand prix and the 2011 Turkish grand prix (79 passes), followed by China last weekend.

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh is celebrating the spectacle of the 2012 season so far.

“Who’s going to predict who will win?” he said, referring to this weekend’s grand prix in Bahrain. “I won’t. We’ve had three very different races and I think we are going to have potentially 20 very different races this year.”