Indianapolis Motor Speedway's F1 procedures

FORMULA ONE PROCEDURES INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, June 7, 2005 -- A look at Formula One race procedures that will be used during the United States Grand Prix on June 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: START PROCEDURES 30 minutes before ...


INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, June 7, 2005 -- A look at Formula One race procedures that will be used during the United States Grand Prix on June 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:


30 minutes before scheduled start time (12:30 p.m., Indianapolis)
* Pit lane opens, cars set off on a reconnaissance lap and then take their positions on the starting grid with engines off. A driver may complete more than one lap but must proceed via the pit lane (at reduced speed) and not cross the starting grid.

17 minutes before scheduled start time (12:43 p.m.)
* A horn is sounded to announce the pit lane exit will close in two minutes.

15 minutes before scheduled start time (12:45 p.m.)
* Pit lane exit is closed, and a horn is sounded again. Any car still in the pits is allowed to start the race from the pits after the entire field has passed the pit exit on its first racing lap. A car can start the race from the end of pit lane providing it got there under its own power. The main red lights are illuminated.

10 minutes before scheduled start time (12:50 p.m.)
* Signaling board shown. Horn sounds. Everybody except drivers, officials and team technical staff must leave the grid.

5 minutes before scheduled start time (12:55 p.m.)
* Signaling board. Horn sounds. One of the five pairs of red lights is extinguished. Final countdown begins. All cars must have their wheels and tires fully fitted by this time; if not, they must start from the back of the grid or pit lane. Any car that has not taken up its position on the grid by the time the five-minute signal is shown must start the race from the pit lane.

3 minutes before scheduled start time (12:57 p.m.)
* Signaling board. Horn sounds. Three pairs of red lights illuminated. Drivers are strapped into their cars.

1 minute before scheduled start time (12:59 p.m.)
* Signaling board. Horn sounds. Two pairs of red lights illuminated. Engines are started; technical staff must leave the grid before 15-second signal is given.

15 seconds before scheduled start time (12:59:45 p.m.)
* Signaling board. Horn sounds. One pair of red lights illuminated.

* Any driver needing technical assistance after this point must raise his arm. Marshals with yellow flags will stand behind any car or cars concerned to warn drivers behind.

Scheduled start time (1 p.m.)
* Final pair of red lights is extinguished. Five green lights are illuminated. Cars set off on their final "warm-up" or formation lap. Practice starts are not allowed. Marshals will push any cars that remain on the grid into the pit lane by the fastest route immediately after the rest of the cars have left the grid. If a driver can restart the car, he may rejoin the formation lap.

* Passing is only permitted if a car is delayed when leaving its grid position and cars behind cannot avoid passing it without unduly delaying the remainder of the field. In this case, drivers may only pass to re-establish the original starting order. Any driver who is delayed leaving the grid may not pass another moving car if he was stationary after the remainder of the cars had crossed the start line, and he must start the race from the back of the grid. If more than one driver is affected, they must form up at the back of the grid in the order they left to complete the formation lap.

* Any driver who is unable to start the formation lap must raise his arm. The car will be pushed into the pit lane by the shortest route, and the team technical personnel may work on the car again.

Race start
* At the end of the formation lap, cars stop in their grid places, engines running, and marshals signal as each car takes up position. Once all the cars are in place, the starter will give the "five seconds" signal by illuminating one pair of red lights. With each passing second, an additional pair of red lights is illuminated.

* One second from the start, all five pairs of red lights are illuminated. When these red lights go out, the race starts.

* A time penalty -- a 10-second stop-go in the pit lane or a drive-through-the-pits penalty -- will be imposed on any drivers determined to have jumped the start, judged by the FIA-supplied electronic transponders fitted to all cars.


* If a driver stalls at the end of the formation lap and just before the start of the race, he raises his arm in the air, and the orange abort lights come on. Drivers leave engines running and when the green lights come on, the cars complete another warm-up lap. The car that caused the start to be aborted must be moved to the pit lane, from where it can start the race if restarted, and its original place on the grid is left open. The race distance is shortened by one lap.


Before the start signal
* If the start needs to be delayed after the start of the formation lap and before the start signal is given, the orange start-finish line lights will flash, and a board saying "Delayed Start" will be displayed.

* Waiting on the grid, drivers will shut their engines off. The new formation lap will start in five minutes.


The standard starting procedures will be varied under the following circumstances:
* If it starts to rain after the five-minute signal but before the race is started, the abort lights will be shown, teams will be allowed to change tires, and the start procedure will begin again at the 15-minute mark.

* If the race start is imminent, and if the Race Director determines that the volume of water on the track makes racing unsafe even with wet-weather tires, the abort lights will be shown. Once the start time is known, at least 10 minutes warning will be given.

* The race may be started behind the Safety Car if the amount of water on the track is too much for a normal start but not sufficient to cause the start to be further delayed.


The Safety Car's intervention is signaled by the Clerk of the Course.
* The Safety Car is used only if competitors or officials are in immediate physical danger but circumstances do not require the race to be stopped.

* The Safety Car joins the track from the pit lane regardless of where the leader is. Yellow flags and "SC" boards are displayed at all marshals' posts. All cars must line up behind the Safety Car no more than five car lengths apart. Passing is forbidden while the Safety Car is on the track unless drivers are signaled to do so by the Safety Car itself or by the clerk of the course.

* While the Safety Car is in on the track, cars may enter the pit lane, but may only rejoin the track when the green light at the end of the pit lane is on. It will be on at all times except when the Safety Car and the line of cars following it are about to pass or are passing the pit exit. A car rejoining the track must proceed at an appropriate speed until it reaches the end of the line of cars behind the Safety Car.

* If the track is blocked, the Safety Car may lead the cars through pit lane. The flashing lights on the car remain illuminated. Cars are permitted to pull into their pit stalls.

* The Safety Car will not return to the pits until all cars capable of doing so are in line behind it with the leader in front. When the flashing lights on the car are extinguished, it is an indication to the drivers that the caution period is over and that the Safety Car will enter the pit lane at the end of the lap.

* When the Safety Car pulls off, green lights will be shown at the start-finish line and green flags at marshals' posts. Passing is not permitted until cars pass the start-finish line unless a car slows with an obvious problem.

* Laps completed under the Safety Car are counted as racing laps.

SUSPENDING A RACE (New for 2005)

* If it is necessary to suspend the race because the circuit is blocked by an accident or because weather or other conditions make it dangerous to continue, red flags are displayed at all marshal posts and the abort lights are shown at the start line. Overtaking is forbidden, the pit exit will be closed, and all cars must proceed slowly to the red-flag line area on the front straight where they must stop in single file with the leading car on the track at the front.

* A drive-through time penalty will be imposed on any driver who enters the pit lane or whose car is pushed from the track to the pit lane once the race has been suspended. However, any car that was in the pit entry or pit lane when the order to suspend the race was given will be permitted to leave the pit lane without incurring a penalty.

* Cars may be worked on in the red flag area, but refueling is prohibited unless the car was already in the pit lane or entry to the pit lane when the suspend race signal was displayed. The Safety Car is positioned at the front of the cars lined up on the track.

* Neither the race nor the timekeeping system will stop while the race is suspended. The stoppage time counts toward the two-hour race limit.

RESUMING A RACE (New for 2005)

* The delay will be kept as short as possible and as soon as a resumption time is known, teams will be informed via the timing monitors. In all cases, at least 10 minutes warning will be given. Signals will be shown 10 minutes, five minutes, three minutes, one minute and 15 seconds before the resumption, and each of these will be accompanied by an audible warning. All cars must have their wheels fitted by the five-minute signal.

* When the one-minute signal is shown, engines are started and all team personnel must leave the grid by the time the 15-second signal is given and take all equipment with them. If any driver needs assistance after the 15-second signal, he must raise his arm and, when the remainder of the cars have departed, his car will be pushed to pit lane.

* The race is resumed behind the Safety Car when the green lights are illuminated. The cars take up position in the order they stopped behind the red-flag line. No passing is permitted. The Safety Car enters the pits after one lap unless team personnel are still clearing the grid or a further incident occurs necessitating another intervention.


* Race distance is the least number of laps that exceeds a distance of 189.527 miles (305 km). If the two-hour time limit is passed before cars have completed the required number of laps, the checkered flag is shown at the end of the lap on which the two hours expired.

* The United States Grand Prix is scheduled to run 73 laps of the 2.605-mile circuit -- a total distance of 190.150 miles (306.016 km).


* Green: All clear.

* Blue: Stationary: Car closely following; Waved: Car behind is trying to pass.

* Yellow: Stationary: Danger ahead, slow down; Waved: Danger ahead, slow down and prepare to stop. No passing allowed in a yellow-flag zone.

* Red and yellow vertical stripes: Stationary: Oil or water on the track; Waved: Track is slippery.

* Black with an orange disc accompanied by the number of a car: Car has a mechanical problem and must pit for check.

* White: An official vehicle or very slow moving car is on the track.

* White triangle and black triangle accompanied by the number of a car: Warning for unsportsmanlike behavior.

* Black shown with white number: Immediately return to pit or exclusion from race.

* Red: Race stopped.

* Checkered: End of the race.


There are two one-hour open practice sessions on Friday. These run from 11 a.m. to noon, and from 2 to 3 p.m. (local time) on Friday at the United States Grand Prix. Teams that finished outside of the top four in last year's Constructors Championship are permitted to run a third car and driver on Friday.

West McLaren Mercedes, Sauber Petronas, Red Bull Racing, Panasonic Toyota Racing, Jordan Grand Prix and Minardi F1 Team all have the option to run a third car on Friday in 2005. The third driver must hold a F1 super license.


As in 2004, two open practice sessions will take place Saturday morning. These will run from 9-9:45 a.m. and from 10:15-11 a.m. (local time) at the United States Grand Prix.

In 2005, there is a single qualifying session that begins at 1 p.m. (local time) Saturday. As in 2004, each driver receives one timed lap, and they will qualify one at a time.

The running order will be that of the finishing order of the previous Grand Prix reversed, with the driver who finished last going out first and the winner of that race going out last. Grid positions are determined by the driver's lap time from that session.

* Procedure for the qualifying session: Each driver will be given one minute to join the track after the pit exit light turns green. As each driver starts his flying lap, the pit exit light will be turned green for one minute for the following driver. There will be longer breaks after the fifth, 10th and 15th drivers in the sequence to create TV advertising breaks during the session.

Any driver failing to leave the pits in the allotted minute, for any reason, will not be permitted to take any further part in that qualifying session. If a car stops on its out lap, the green light for the following car will be shown when the stopped car is in a safe place. At least a two-minute warning will be given on what time the session will resume.

The stopped driver will not be able to take any further part in that qualifying session. If a car stops on its flying lap, red flags will be displayed around the circuit, and the other car on the track must enter the pits.

If, in the opinion of the officials, a driver deliberately stops on the circuit or impedes another driver in any way during the qualifying practice session, his time from the relevant part of the session will be canceled.

PARC FERME (Revised for 2005)

Parc ferme is the impound area where all cars are held and inspected after the qualifying sessions and the race.

The parc ferme (impound) procedure has two purposes: to check the cars for general conformity with the Technical and Sporting Regulations and to ensure that in each case the car which is scrutineered (undergone technical inspection), qualified and raced is the same vehicle.

As in 2004, the cars are held in parc ferme overnight after qualifying on Saturday.

There is also a period of time on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday morning when the cars are released from parc ferme and returned to their garages. During this time, however, the cars remain under parc ferme conditions and only a limited amount of work may be done on them.

Every car that took part in the qualifying session, or was intended for use during that part of the session (in the event of a driver failing to leave the pit lane), will be required in parc ferme. The team must take any car that failed to leave the pit lane during the qualifying session to parc ferme immediately. If a car is damaged during the qualifying session, the FIA technical delegate may make alternative arrangements according to the level of damage and any other circumstances he deems relevant.

Each car will be deemed to be in parc ferme from the time at which the light at the end of the pit lane turns green for the start of its qualifying run until the green lights are illuminated at the start of the formation lap which immediately precedes the start of the race.

Between these times, other than when cars are returned to the parc ferme overnight, the following work may be carried out: Cooling devices may be fitted; changes to improve the drivers comfort may be made; a fuel breather may be fitted; bodywork (excluding radiators) may be removed and/or cleaned; cosmetic changes may be made to the bodywork; any part of the car may be cleaned; fluids used for replenishment must conform to the same specification as the original fluid; onboard cameras, timing transponders and any associated equipment may be removed, refitted or checked.

After weighing following the qualifying session, all cars will be detained in the parc ferme for further checks. While the cars are being detained, three members from each team are permitted in the parc ferme at any one time for the purpose of: checking tire pressures; connecting a jump battery under the supervision of the FIA; downloading data by physical connection to the car under the supervision of the FIA; fitting water heaters; draining engine oil; carrying out work required by the FIA technical delegate; or changing tires before the car is pushed back to the team's garage. These, or any other tires, may be used when the car is returned to the parc ferme the same evening and back to the team's garage on Sunday morning. The wheels and tires used for qualifying will be marked and/or sealed by the officials before being released to the team.

Once the qualifying session has finished, and all preliminary checks have been carried out by the FIA, the cars held in the parc ferme will be released simultaneously, and teams will be permitted to push them back to their garages. From this point, and until 5:30 p.m. Saturday, teams will be permitted to carry out the following work under supervision of officials: removal of wheels; wheels may be rebalanced, tire pressures adjusted, removal of any parts genuinely necessary to carry out essential safety checks; removal of spark plugs to carry out an internal engine inspection and cylinder compression checks; starting of engines (an external fuel pressurizing system may be used if necessary but only fuel on board the car may be used for running the engine); with the exception of fuel, draining and/or replenishing fluids with a specific gravity less than 1.1; draining and/or addition of compressed gases; fitting of heating devices; accessing onboard electrical units via a physical connection to the car; repairing legitimate accident damage.

If one or more tires are damaged, and are deemed unusable by the FIA technical delegate, they may be replaced by other tires that have been used for a greater number of laps than the damaged ones. Fuel may be added to the car before the qualifying session, but no other work other than adjusting the front wing may be done unless authorized by the FIA technical delegate.

At some time before 5:30 p.m. Saturday, all cars used during the qualifying session (or which were intended for use but failed to leave the pit lane) must be taken back to the parc ferme, with all parts used for qualifying refitted (other than wheels and tires, which if they are not fitted to the car, must be taken separately), where they will remain secure until the following day. While cars are in the parc ferme, they may be covered and fitted with devices to keep them warm. No team personnel will be permitted there unless specifically authorized by the FIA technical delegate.

At 7 a.m. Sunday, teams will be permitted to take their cars back to their garages, where, again, they will remain under parc ferme conditions until the green lights are illuminated at the start of the formation lap that immediately precedes the start of the race. Fuel may not be added or removed between qualifying and the race.

If during this time a team modifies any part on the car or makes changes to the setup of the suspension, the relevant driver must start the race from the pit lane.

After the race Sunday, cars are held in the impound area (parc ferme) for general technical scrutineering by the FIA.

ENGINES (Revised for 2005)

* A driver may use only one engine during the three-day periods covering two Grand Prix weekends. If the engine needs to be changed before qualifying, the driver will be moved back 10 places on the starting grid. If the engine is changed between qualifying and the race, the driver will be moved to the back of the grid. If a car is damaged, the engine may be switched to another chassis with no penalty. The new engine must be used for the remainder of that event and for the entire following event.

* If a driver retires before the end of the race due to a mechanical problem or accident, a fresh engine may be installed in the car for the next race with no penalty. A driver, however, cannot voluntarily retire in order to get a fresh engine for the next event.

* The FIA attaches seals to each engine to ensure that no important moving parts can be rebuilt or replaced. Other than the straightforward replacement of one engine unit with another, a change will be deemed to have taken place if any of these seals are damaged or removed from the original engine.

TIRES (Revised for 2005)

* The tire manufacturers must supply two specifications of dry-weather tires and one specification of wet-weather tires during a race weekend. But during extreme conditions, race officials can authorize the use of a second specification of wet-weather tires. Both front and rear dry-weather tires must incorporate four circumferential grooves of exact dimensions specified by the FIA.

* In 2005, a driver is limited to one set of dry-weather tires for qualifying and the race. A tire may only be changed if it is punctured or badly damaged, and in a case like this, only that specific tire may be replaced with a tire of equal wear. In the case of rain, a driver is allowed to change to wet-weather tires.

* Drivers may try two different dry-weather tire compounds Friday but must select only one compound by Saturday morning and use it for the rest of the weekend. During the weekend, a driver may not use more than four sets of dry-weather tires, four sets of wet-weather tires and three sets of extreme wet-weather tires.


* As before, both cars entered by each team must be presented in the same livery at each Grand Prix, but these requirements will not apply to any third car being run by a team on the first day of practice. So that the cars of each team may be easily distinguished from one another, the onboard camera of the first car must now be predominantly fluorescent red, the same camera on the second car must remain as supplied to the team (black), and any third car must have a fluorescent yellow camera.


* Race officials can impose one of three penalties on a driver guilty of an infraction of the rules.

1) A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the race without stopping.
2) A 10-second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least 10 seconds and then rejoin the race.
3) A drop of 10 grid positions at the driver's next Grand Prix.

* Should penalties 1 or 2 be imposed during the last five laps, or after the end of a race, 25 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of the driver concerned instead.


* No change of car is permitted after the start of the race.

* Any driver who decides to use another race car or a spare car following the qualifying session and before the end of the pit lane is closed for the start of the race, must start the race from the pit lane.


* Refueling during the race is permitted. Teams must use identical refueling rigs supplied by the FIA. Rate of fuel flow is approximately 3.2 gallons (12 liters) per second.

* Fuel may not be added to or removed from a car between the start of the second part of the qualifying session and the start of the race. The only exceptions are for cars forced to abort their qualifying run if the session is stopped, which may be refueled before a new qualifying attempt.

* If a race is suspended, cars parked in the red-flag area may not be refueled, but those already in pit lane can be refueled.


* The pit lane speed limit for qualifying and the race is 62 mph (100 kph). During practice sessions, the speed limit is 37 mph (60 kph). Drivers are fined $250 for each kilometer they exceed the speed limit.

* Drivers who break the speed limit during the race will be assessed a drive-through-the-pits or a 10-second stop-go penalty.


USGP tickets: Tickets for the United States Grand Prix can be purchased online at, or by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.


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Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Toyota Racing , Minardi , Jordan