A Formula One race or Grand Prix is a sporting event which takes place over three days.
There are Two “one and a half-hour” practice sessions on Friday (Thursday at Monaco), a one-hour practice session on Saturday morning and a qualifying session on Saturday afternoon and the Main Race is on Sunday
Saturday’s qualifying session, designed to take about an hour, is split into three distinct segments – Q1, Q2 and Q3.
Each qualifying segment sees multiple drivers on track simultaneously, with each allowed to run as many laps as they want.
2020 FORMULA ONE SPORTING REGULATIONS
31) PRACTICE SESSIONS
31.1 No driver may start in the race without taking part in at least one practice session.
31.2 During all practices there will be a green and a red light at the end of the pit lane.
Cars may only leave the pit lane when the green light is on. Additionally, a blue flag and/or a flashingblue light
will be shown in the pit exit to warn drivers leaving the pit lane if cars are approaching on the track.
31.3 Unless written permission has been given by the FIA to do otherwise, the circuit may only be
used for purposes other than the Event after the last practice session on each day of practice
and on the day of the race no less than one hour before the end of the pit lane is opened to
allow cars to cover a reconnaissance lap.
31.4 In the event of a driving infringement during any practice session the Stewards may delete a
driver’s lap time (or lap times) or drop the driver such number of grid positions as they
consider appropriate. Unless it is completely clear that a driver committed a driving
infringement any such incident will normally be investigated after the relevant session.
Where appropriate, regard will also be given to the provisions of Article 18.1.
31.5 Any driver taking part in any practice session who, in the opinion of the stewards, stops
unnecessarily on the circuit or unnecessarily impedes another driver shall be subject to the
penalties referred to in Article 31.4.
31.6 Should it become necessary to stop any practice session because the circuit is blocked by an
accident or because weather or other conditions make it dangerous to continue, the clerk of
the course will order red flags to be shown at all marshal posts and the abort lights to be
shown at the Line.
When the signal is given to stop all cars must immediately reduce speed and proceed slowly
back to the pit lane. In order to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently, from the time at
which the “RED FLAG” message appears on the official messaging system until the time that
each car crosses the first safety car line when entering the pit lane, drivers must stay above the
minimum time set by the FIA ECU at least once in each marshalling sector (a marshalling sector
is defined as the section of track between each of the FIA light panels).
All cars abandoned on the track will be removed to a safe place.
At the end of each practice session no driver may cross the Line more than once.
31.7 The clerk of the course may interrupt practice as often and for as long as he thinks necessary
to clear the track or to allow the recovery of a car. However, only during qualifying practice will
the session be extended as a result.
Should one or more sessions be thus interrupted, no protest can be accepted as to the
possible effects of the interruption on the qualification of drivers admitted to start.
32) FREE PRACTICE
32.1 a) Two free practice sessions (P1 and P2), each lasting one and a half hours and separated
by at least two and a half hours, will take place on the second day of the Event.
b) A further free practice session (P3), lasting one hour and starting no less than eighteen
and a half hours after the end of P2, will take place the day before the race.
33) QUALIFYING PRACTICE
33.1 The qualifying practice session will take place on the day before the race and will start no less
than two hours after the end of P3.
The session will be run as follows :
a) For the first eighteen minutes of the session (Q1) all cars will be permitted on the track
and at the end of this period the slowest five cars will be prohibited from taking any
further part in the session.
Lap times achieved by the fifteen remaining cars will then be deleted.
b) After a seven-minute break the session will resume for fifteen minutes (Q2) and the
fifteen remaining cars will be permitted on the track. At the end of this period the
slowest five cars will be prohibited from taking any further part in the session.
Lap times achieved by the ten remaining cars will then be deleted.
c) After an eight-minute break the session will resume for twelve minutes (Q3) and the ten
remaining cars will be permitted on the track.
The above procedure is based upon 20 cars being officially eligible to take part in the Event. If
22 cars are eligible six will be eliminated after Q1 and Q2, if 24 cars are eligible seven cars will
be eliminated after Q1 and Q2, and so on if more cars are eligible.
33.2 Any driver whose car stops on the circuit during the qualifying session will not be permitted to take any further part in the session.
33.3 At the end of qualifying practice the times achieved by each driver will be officially published.
33.4 An AOT, as defined in F1 Technical Regulations, must be empty during the complete qualifying
35) THE GRID
35.1 Unless the track was declared wet by the race director, any driver eliminated during Q1 whose
best qualifying lap exceeds 107% of the fastest time set during that session, or who fails to set
a time, will not be allowed to take part in the race. Under exceptional circumstances however,
which may include setting a suitable lap time in a free practice session, the stewards may
permit the car to start the race.
Any driver accepted in this manner will be placed at the back of the starting grid after any
other penalties have been applied, and behind any driver penalised under Article 23.3(b).
Should there be more than one driver accepted in this manner they will be arranged on the
grid in the order they were classified in P3.
35.2 a) The grid will be drawn up as follows :
i) The last five positions will be occupied by the cars eliminated during Q1, the
fastest in 16th position.
ii) The next five positions will be occupied by the cars eliminated during Q2, the
fastest in 11th position.
iii) The top ten positions will be occupied by the cars which took part in Q3, the
fastest from the position on the grid which was the pole position in the previous
year or, on a new circuit, has been designated as such by the FIA safety delegate.
If two or more drivers set identical times during Q1, Q2 or Q3 priority will be given to the one
who set it first.
If more than 20 cars are entered in the Championship appropriate amendments will be made
to the above in accordance with Article 33.1.
b) If more than one driver fails to set a time during Q2 or Q3 they will be arranged in the
following order :
i) Any driver who attempted to set a qualifying time by starting a flying lap.
ii) Any driver who failed to start a flying lap.
iii) Any driver who failed to leave the pits during the period.
c) Once the grid has been established in accordance with a) and b) above, grid position
penalties will be applied to the drivers in question in the order the offences were
committed. If, following qualifying, more than one driver incurs a penalty under Article
23.3(e) or Article 23.5(a) preference will be given to the driver whose team first
informed the technical delegate that a power unit or gearbox change will be carried out.
d) Any driver required to start the race from the back of the grid after incurring a penalty
under Article 23.3(b) will be arranged on the grid behind any driver penalised under c)
If more than one driver is required to start the race from the back of the grid they will be
arranged in qualifying order.
e) Any driver who incurs a penalty under Article 23.3(e) or Article 23.5(a) will take
precedence over any driver whose qualifying times have been deleted for any reason.
If more than one driver falls into a single category in b) or e) above they will be arranged on
the grid in the order they were classified in the previous period of qualifying or, in the case of
Q1, the order they were classified in P3.
35.3 The starting grid will be published no less than four hours before the start of the formation lap.
Any competitor whose car(s) is (are) unable to start for any reason whatsoever (or who has
good reason to believe that their car(s) will not be ready to start) must inform the stewards
accordingly at the earliest opportunity and, in any event, no later than one hour and fifteen
minutes before the start of the formation lap. If one or more cars are withdrawn the grid will
be closed up accordingly. The final starting grid will be published one hour before the start of
the formation lap.
35.4 The grid will be in a staggered 1 x 1 formation and the rows on the grid will be separated by 16 metres.