What does the squad round in Formula 1 mean?

In Formula 1, even the smallest things, like the lap before the race starts, can have a big impact. What is a squad round and why is it important?

The start time of every F1 race follows a set pattern, but there’s more to it than just getting to the starting line and racing.

First, all cars need to head to the grid and line up in race eligibility order.

On a Formula 1 broadcast, that process is often referred to as a squad round but it is sometimes called a warm-up or parade round.

F1 explained: What does the formation ring in Formula 1 mean?

Why not stack the cars up and let them race without going around first? It’s all about getting ready for the race.

You’ll see the riders and their teams as they reach the finish line, preparing their cars for the race, but in the process, the tires cool down. The forming ring allows the driver to warm the tire back up.

Hotter tires have better grip than cool tires. Fitted with warm tires can be essential to getting off to a good start. That’s why racers often back up or accelerate quickly and brake hard in the forming lap. They’re trying to put some heat into their tyres.

LEARN MORE: How does the F1 qualifier work?

As the cars took off to circle the formation, the teams hurried back to their bulkheads and boxes, leaving the cars free to move forward in order.

When each car from front to back reaches the appropriate position, the lights will come on and the countdown to the race can begin.

The entire ring formation process usually happens fairly quickly, so don’t look too far away. The race is literally about to begin. What does the squad round in Formula 1 mean?

John Verrall

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