If we look at the autosport.com 2007 Top Ten ranking of the best races, the first four places are taken by the four Grands Prix that counted the highest number of passes this year . No doubt, then, that the overtaking manoeuvre is still one of the parameters to measure the spectacle in Formula one.
Before starting with the analysis, however, we have to state some "rules" to identify a pass. These rules were set by Brian Lawrence, the first person in the internet age to post amateur statistics on the rec.autos.sport.f1 newsgroup.
Since there is no way to have a camera pointed at every car for the entire length of the race, we have to use other means to identify passes, especially if we go back in time, when TV coverage was far from what it is nowadays.