How does eligibility work in Formula 1?

How does the F1 qualifier work? Here’s everything you need to know about the knockouts, pole positions, the new rules for 2022 and more.

Formula 1 races may take place on Sundays but all racing fans know that half of the movie will happen on Saturdays thanks to the excitement of qualifying.

However, the system is not exactly that simple. That’s completely understandable if you’re not sure how it works.

That’s what we’re here for! Here’s what you need to understand about F1 qualifying or just learn the new rules for 2022 before you go back to watch Drive to Survive.

F1 . qualifying structure

  • Q1
    • 18 minutes
    • 5 slowest drivers disqualified
  • Q2
    • 15 minutes
    • 5 slowest drivers disqualified
  • Q3
    • 12 minutes
    • The fastest driver gets the pole position
    • Start setting up the grid

How does the F1 qualifier work?

Formula 1 uses a knockout system.

All 20 F1 . drivers take part in the first stage, called Q1, with each stage trying to time it as fast as possible. Those in the top 15 will move on to the next stage of qualifying, known as Quarter 2. The five slowest drivers are eliminated and will start the race in the last five places on the grid.

Q2 is slightly shorter but follows the same format. Drivers try to spend their best time traveling to Q1 as one of the 10 fastest cars. Five outside the top 10 are eliminated and start the race from 11th to 15th based on their best lap time.

Q1 lap time determines the pole position and the order of the 10 front positions on the grid. Slowest driver in Q1 starts 10th, next starts ninth, etc

Penalties for violations or changes to vehicle components are applied at the end of qualifying.

What does pole position mean?

Pole position refers to the first position on the starting grid. It can be inside or outside depending on the particular track but it does mean a good starting position relative to the track.

The fastest rider in the qualifying round took pole position and received the Pirelli Pole Position Award.

Are there any new regulations on F1 qualifying in 2022?

Yes. Things are actually much simpler this year because F1 has removed the rules around tire compounds in qualifying.

Starting in 2014, riders must start the race on the exact tire they used in Q2. The rule is supposed to create more competition. Instead, it often locks middle runners into starting with the soft compound while the big boys like Mercedes and Red Bull can advance to Q3 on a harder compound and enjoy a race edge.

Those considerations are now gone. Teams can start the race with any compound they want regardless of what tire they used in qualifying. How does eligibility work in Formula 1?

John Verrall

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