In strategic data compiled by Mercedes GP over the course of the campaign, Schumacher's end-of-season tally has been recorded as 116 passes - just two ahead of his Scuderia Toro Rosso rival.
Schumacher's tally was most certainly helped by the fact that he was able to make up so many positions in the opening stint of races - because he often qualified further down the field that his car was capable of.
Nevertheless, the team was well aware that throughout 2011, Schumacher’s race pace was every bit as good as team-mate Nico Rosberg’s so he could recover well on Sundays - which points towards the amount of progress the seven-time champion has made since his F1 comeback.
The top 10 rankings for the best overtakers of 2011, according to Mercedes GP’s data, are:
Paul di Resta
|10.||Felipe Massa ||82|
With the top positions dominated by drivers who were often battling in the midfield, it shows that racing in the pack offers greater opportunities to notch up overtaking moves.
That also explains why world champion Sebastian Vettel, who more often than not started at the front of the field, ended the campaign fourth from the bottom in the rankings with just 27 moves over the course of the season.
Mercedes GP’s data is compiled for the benefit of its strategic department, and is based on a combination of video, timing data and GPS technology – rather than just simple lap charts.