Overtaking in motorsport is dangerous, thrilling, and one of the most exciting things to watch. The risk of hitting the other car, spinning off the track, or going headfirst into the Armco barriers is quite high. To pull off an awe-inspiring overtaking move takes a good vehicle, great driving skill and sometimes, just dumb luck. This compilation of videos from Formula 1, rallycross and amateur karting, demonstrates some of the most jaw-dropping overtaking manoeuvres in recent years.
This video compilation by Formula1.com is a brilliant showcase of Formula 1’s competitive spirit. Put aside the common complaints like the hybrid engines, the loss of the shrieking V8s, and the nit-picking rules, you’ve still got the fastest race on four wheels.
The rankings in the video are based on a Twitter poll held by Formula1.com in 2015. The fifth best overtaking move was in the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix by Fernando Alonso as he overtook Filipe Massa and Mark Webber. The next in the countdown was Kimi Raikonen overtaking Michael Schumacher at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix, followed by Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso’s wheel-to-wheel battle at the 2014 British Grand Prix. Second place was awarded to Massa’s move on Bruno Senna at the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix, while the first place went to Alonso’s flawless manoeuvre overtaking Webber at the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix.
MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi‘s crazy overtaking antics are not limited to two wheelers. The Monza Rally Show 2014 saw him pull off a dangerous yet clever overtaking manoeuvre at a 180-degree right hand corner. His Focus WRC car dives into the corner at the sharp hairpin bend, narrowly missing the barrier and overtaking his rival at the same time.
A weird hybrid of rallycross and demolition racing, this democross series takes place in Canada and is sponsored by Québécois enthusiast, Jean-Marc Benoit. Naturally this sort of racing has different rules for overtaking as this video clearly demonstrates. An overhead overtaking manoeuvre is virtually unheard of in any other form of racing and this one is quite spectacular. The poor Civic driver underneath must have had a really bad time of it.
While overtaking overhead may be the norm for democross, pulling that move off in a go-kart takes sheer dumb luck. This video, made with a helmet mounted GoPro, is set in the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship in Ontario. Just as the driver with the camera pulls out of a right hand corner, a rival flies above and overtakes him.
At times, all it takes to pull off a good overtaking manoeuvre is to wait for your opponent to make a mistake. In this video, after spending nearly two minutes stuck behind a slow moving Baja buggy-like 4×4 (and honking at him to move out of the way) Finnish rally driver, Jouni Ampuja starts to get understandably impatient. The Northern Forest rally that takes place near St. Petersburg is known for its icy conditions. The vehicle in front of Ampuja slips, skids and flips away from the track, letting the Finnish rally driver take the lead sporting a thumbs up.