US GP: Formula One race procedures

Race procedures to be used during the SAP United States Grand Prix on Sept. 29, 2002, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: START PROCEDURES 30 minutes before scheduled start time (12:30 p.m., Indianapolis) *Pit lane opens, cars set off on a ...

Race procedures to be used during the SAP United States Grand Prix on Sept. 29, 2002, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

START PROCEDURES

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. 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. Wheel changes and refueling are allowed until five minutes before scheduled start time.

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 fitted. If a car does not have all of its wheels fitted, the driver must start the race from the back of the grid or 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. Team technical personnel can attempt to correct the problem after the rest of the cars have left the grid for the start of the formation lap. 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. Any car that fails to leave the grid at this time must be moved to the back of the grid and will be allowed to start the race from that position. Passing is not permitted unless a car is delayed when leaving its grid position, and the cars behind cannot avoid passing it without unduly delaying the rest of the field. In this case, drivers may only pass to re-establish the original starting order.

*Any driver who is unable to start the formation lap must raise his arm. Team technical personnel can attempt to correct the problem after the rest of the cars have crossed the starting line for the start of the formation lap. If the car is unable to start the formation lap, it will be pushed into the pit lane by the shortest route, and the team technical personnel may work on the car again. Marshals will be instructed to push any car (or cars) which remain on the grid into the pit lane after 30 seconds.

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.

ABORTED STARTS

*If a driver stalls just before the start of the race, he raises his arm in the air, and the start is aborted. The cars complete another warm-up lap. The driver who caused the start to be aborted must be moved to the back of the grid, and his original place on the grid is left open. The race distance is shortened by one lap.

DELAYED START PROCEDURES

1. Before the formation lap *If the start needs to be delayed after the pit lane has closed and before the formation lap, the orange start-finish line lights will flash until the restart time is confirmed.

2. 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 until the restart time is confirmed.

*Waiting on the grid, drivers will shut their engines off.

*Under normal circumstances, there will be a five-minute delay if this procedure is required.

3. After a red-flag incident *If the race needs to be stopped, then every effort will be made to restart the race within 20 minutes of the red flag being shown.

WET RACE PROCEDURES

The standard starting procedures will be varied under the following circumstances:

*If the track is dry throughout all practice sessions but becomes wet (or vice-versa) after the warm-up and at least 60 minutes before the scheduled start time, a 15-minute free practice may be allowed.

*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 together with a "10" board with a red background will be shown. This indicates a delay of at least 10 minutes before the starting procedure can be resumed.

*If weather conditions have improved after 10 minutes, a "10" board with a green background will be shown, indicating that the race will start in 10 minutes. Five minutes after this, the normal starting procedures with five-, three- and one-minute boards, and 15-second boards will be shown.

*If weather conditions have not improved, the "10" board with a red background may be shown repeatedly. In exceptional circumstances, the race may be started behind the Safety Car.

SAFETY CAR PROCEDURES

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. All cars must line up behind the Safety Car. Passing is forbidden while the Safety Car is on the track unless drivers are signaled to do so by the Safety Car itself.

*While the Safety Car is out, cars may enter the pits and may rejoin the circuit whenever the green light at the pit exit is illuminated. A car rejoining the track must proceed at reduced speed until it reaches the end of the line of cars behind the Safety Car.

*When the Clerk of the Course calls the Safety Car back in, it completes that lap of the circuit with its revolving lights switched off.

*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.

STOPPING A RACE

Three different cases apply to stopping a race:

*If the race is stopped before two laps have been completed, the first start is considered null and void. Drivers are allowed to switch to their backup cars for the restart. Any driver who was forced to start from the pit lane or the back of the grid may resume his original grid spot. The length of the restarted race will be the full original distance.

*If more than two laps but less than 75 percent of the race has been completed, the original race will be deemed null and void. The race will be restarted with the cars in the order they were at the start-finish line two laps before the lap in which the signal was given to stop the race. The length of the restarted race will be three laps less than the original race distance less the number of classified laps completed by the leader before the signal to stop was given. Only cars that took part in the original start are eligible to take part in the restart and only if they returned under their power to the pits or a position behind the last grid. Cars may be serviced in the pits or on the grid. Refueling is permitted only in the pits. No backup car will be eligible.

*If more than 75 percent of the race has been completed and the race is stopped, the race will be considered over. The order of the finishers will be taken from the order at the start-finish line two laps before the lap in which the signal was given to stop the race.

RACE DISTANCE

*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 raced, the checkered flag is shown at the end of the lap on which the two hours expired.

*The SAP United States Grand Prix is scheduled to run 73 laps of the 2.606-mile circuit - a total distance of 190.238 miles (306.158 km).

FLAGS

*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.

QUALIFYING PROCEDURE

*Qualifying takes place during a single 60-minute session from 1-2 p.m. (EST) Saturday, Sept. 28. The drivers may complete a maximum of 12 laps each in qualifying, including warm-up and cool-down laps.

THE 107 PERCENT RULE

*Any driver whose best lap time in qualifying exceeds 107 percent of the pole-position time will not be allowed to take part in the race. For example, if the pole-winning lap is a time of 1:22.25, 107 percent equals 1:28, and any driver lapping slower than 1:28 would not be allowed to start the race.

TIRES

*The tire manufacturers must supply two specifications of dry-weather tires and three specifications of wet-weather tires during a race weekend. Both front and rear dry-weather tires must incorporate four circumferential grooves of exact dimensions specified by the FIA.

*No driver may use more than 40 dry-weather tires (10 sets) and 28 wet-weather tires (seven sets) during the course of a three-day Grand Prix weekend. From the 40 dry-weather tires, each driver is allocated three sets for use on the first day of practice, one set of which must be of a different specification to the other two. These tires may not be used at any other time during the event. The driver then has seven sets of tires remaining for use on Saturday and Sunday. Only four sets of tires may be used during qualifying.

*Before qualifying begins, each driver must nominate which specification of dry-weather tire he will use for the remainder of the event. Tires are marked to ensure that only the specified tires are used on the correct cars.

CARS

*Each entrant may use no more than two cars for free practice. During qualifying, teams may use one or two spare cars, if necessary.

REFUELING

*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.

SPEED LIMITS

*The pit-lane speed limit is 37 mph (60 kph) during practice and qualifying, and 50 mph (80 kph) during the Race Day warm-up and Grand Prix race. Drivers will be fined $250 for each kilometer they exceed the speed limit.

-ims-

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