Like the previous year, 2012 was a fantastic season for overtaking. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the best passes of the 2012 season:
10th – Sergio Perez on Lewis Hamilton, Japanese Grand Prix
Perez eliminated himself from the Suzuka race later on with an ill-judged pass on Hamilton at the same corner. But his first move was brave, albeit slightly clumsy.
The Sauber came from miles behind at the Turn 11 hairpin, threw his car into the corner, and just about made it stick.
9th – Lewis Hamilton on both Toro Rossos, Spanish Grand Prix
An overtaking article wouldn’t be complete without Lewis Hamilton. Recovering from a disastrous 2011 season, he immediately set out to prove that he is one of the finest drivers on the grid.
Arguably his best pass was on Ricciarado and Vergne in quick succession in Barcelona:
8th – Kimi Raikkonen on Nico Hulkenberg, Grand Prix of America
Nico Hulkenberg performed admirably in the second half of 2012. But he was left completely helpless when Kimi made a ruthless move around the outside in Austin.
Passes like these are very underrated – the sheer level of bravery and confidence required is unparalleled.
7th – Romain Grosjean on Lewis Hamilton, European Grand Prix
Despite the (justified) criticism of Grosjean’s antics this year, he remains a fiesty racer when the opportunity arises.
His best move of the year was this ballsy pass on Hamilton, where he refused to budge and forced the McLaren off the racing line.
6th – Fernando Alonso on Romain Grosjean, European Grand Prix
Before this season, who would have guessed that the Valencia street circuit would throw up one of the best races of 2012?
Another great pass from that race was Fernando Alonso’s incredible move around the outside of turn 1. It’s even tougher than it looks – the exit barriers of that corner close in rapidly, so even a few kp/h too many, and you’re in the wall.
5th – Kimi Raikkonen on Paul di Resta, German Grand Prix
Raikkonen spent several laps behind the Force India before he made a proper attempt to overtake. But it was well worth it.
After attempting to undercut Di Resta exiting the Spitzherhe, he dived around the outside of the following corner, and muscled his way through.
4th – Kimi Raikkonen on Michael Schumacher, Brazilian Grand Prix
Raikkonen and Schumacher were back to their old antics in Brazil. At the same corner, Raikkonen squeezed past Michael on the race of his first retirement in 2006.
This time though, it was around the outside, and not a millimetre of space was shared between the two. Just look at that photo, and that tells you everything you need to know.
3rd – Kimi Raikkonen on Michael Schumacher, Belgian Grand Prix
As you can tell, I’ve hugely enjoyed Raikkonen’s performances this year. He’s been absolutely outstanding all year – but more on that in another post.
This time, he bravely shot down the inside of Schumacher’s Mercedes entering Eau Rouge. It wasn’t as brilliant as Mark Webber’s similar move last year, but still very commendable.
2nd – Felipe Massa on Bruno Senna, Singapore Grand Prix
After a miserable start to the season, Massa picked up his game hugely.
The first sign of Felipe’s comeback was in Singapore, where an incredible slice up the inside of Bruno Senna netted him an extra place. Bonus marks go for the dramatic slide entering the corner. Awesome stuff.
1st – Nico Hulkenberg on Lewis Hamilton & Romain Grosjean, Korean Grand Prix
While the Korean Grand Prix wasn’t a standout race, it brought one of my favourite passes from one of the best upcoming drivers on the grid.
Hulkenberg has been brilliant in the final few races of 2012, and this move was icing on the cake. After waltzing past Grosjean, he proceeded to barge his way alongside Hamilton, and then shoved his way past entering the next corner. Brilliantly calculated, and fantastic to watch – a classic overtake.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many videos of the pass online. This is the best I could come up with.