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F1: free practice, qualifying, sprint races... Understand everything about a Grand Prix weekend


Highlights: F1: free practice, qualifying, sprint races... Understand everything about a Grand Prix weekend. The 24 Grand Prix of the Formula 1 season will take place, like last year, in the format of free practice,. qualifying and racing. Are you starting F1 this year, and you don't have the basics? This little summary is for you. Have a question about F1? Send it to us at or tweet it to @MailOnlineF1.

The 24 Grand Prix of the Formula 1 season will take place, like last year, in the format of free practice, qualifying and racing. HAS

Are you starting F1 this year, and you don't have the basics?

This little summary is for you.

As the 75th season in the history of Formula 1 approaches, we invite you to delve into the simplest rules of the premier discipline of motorsport: the progress of a Grand Prix weekend .

Free trials - the testing phase

For a “classic” F1 weekend (without the special sprint race format), the drivers systematically start with three first free practice sessions, two on Friday, and a third on Saturday morning.

They all last 60 minutes, even if they can be extended by the organizers at the last moment for various reasons (weather, accident, etc.).

These three free practice sessions (FP1, FP2, FP3) are designed to kick off the weekend in the garages and ensure that the car is ready for the real Grand Prix.

It is therefore not necessarily the most interesting moment for the average spectator, since there is no purely sporting interest in ranking.

It's already time for the last laps of the season... 😢 #AbuDhabiGP

See you tomorrow at 10:10 a.m. on CANAL+SPORT, with no less than 10 rookie drivers in FP1!


— CANAL+ F1® (@CanalplusF1) November 23, 2023

In general, during FP1, drivers do fairly long “runs” with several laps to properly acclimatize to the circuit, with a car loaded with gasoline.

During the second session, the parameters are modified to simulate racing conditions with more or less fuel to observe the evolution of the car's behavior.

Finally, the third session is more of a pure performance work session on the lap, with a view to qualifying.

These are where the lap times are most representative of the car's potential.

Qualifying - a race against the clock

After three free practice sessions, it's now time for qualifying on Saturday afternoon to determine the starting order for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Qualifying takes place in three separate sessions during which the drivers will attempt to achieve the best lap possible.

During Q1, drivers will have 18 minutes to achieve the best possible lap time and be one of the 15 qualified for Q2.

The five eliminated will be classified at the back of the grid between 16th and 20th position depending on their time.

For the others, go to Q2 with the same principle, over 15 minutes this time.

The last five eliminated will start between 11th and 15th place on the starting line.

Read alsoFormula 1: the fate of Christian Horner decided before the Bahrain Grand Prix

The last ten drivers in the race then find themselves in Q3 for 12 minutes.

At the end, the ranking of this Q3 will determine the position on the grid of the first 10.

The Grand Prix - the big meeting

If everything goes as planned, the 20 drivers will meet on Sunday for the Grand Prix, the race which allows points to be scored for the World Championship.

The winner will win 25 points, the second 18, the third 15 then 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and finally 1 point for the 10th.

To do this, you will have to complete all the laps of the GP.

The number of laps depends on the circuits.

The minimum distance for a Grand Prix is ​​305 km.

The number of laps to complete is set according to this objective.

It doesn't matter if the Dutch GP in Zandvoort has 72 laps and that in Spa in Belgium only 44, the drivers cover, in fact, the same distance within a few hundred meters.

The only exception to the calendar is Monaco and its very slow route, in town, where the minimum race distance is set at 260 km.

The entire grid completes 78 laps of the track with a length of just over 3.3 km.

Another specificity on the 24 GP, the drivers have two hours to cover the distance.

If there are race interruption(s), the Grand Prix must end a maximum of three hours after the start has been given.

Otherwise, the number of points given will be proportional to the number of rounds completed, according to a scale defined in advance.

During the race, nothing very special is noted, apart of course from the goal of crossing the line first.

The only obligatory passage is that drivers must simply return to the pits at least once to change to another type of tire, except in the event of rain.

“Sprint race” – the alternative format

This is the little “twist” of recent years in F1.

To revitalize the appeal of the discipline, Formula 1 has decided to set up a second, shorter race over several weekends during the year.

This season, six events (China, Miami, Austria, Austin, Brazil and Qatar) will therefore present this second race, called the “sprint race”.

We know the 6 Grands Prix which will host a sprint race in 2024!

These are China, Austria, Brazil, Qatar and the United States (twice: Miami and Austin) 🇨🇳🇦🇹🇧🇷🇶🇦🇺🇸

Your opinion on this selection?


— CANAL+ F1® (@CanalplusF1) December 5, 2023

For this, a qualifying session will be organized in place of the second free practice session (FP2), generally on Friday afternoon.

The sprint race will take place on Saturday, before the qualifying session for the real Grand Prix on Sunday.

This mini-race in a reduced format (at least 100 km, approximately 30 minutes) will give the opportunity to score points in the World Championship: 8 points for the first, to 1 point for the 8th.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2024-02-27

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