Talk:Formula One regulations

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While in the fifties superchargers were used to increase power, as far as I know, in the eighties the turbocharger was the means to boost power. I have not edited the page because I am not sure of my facts.

Yes but the turbocharger is known since before the WWII. Reguarding the rule there's no difference between a turbo and a simple supercharger. Maybe we should write simply "charged" ?

Sorry Ericd. The reason I removed the content of this page is because I made a new page called Formula One regulations and copied the content. I think that regulations is a more accurate description than rules. I realise that I shouldn't have simply deleted the content of this page though. Do you think that this page should be a redirect to F1 regs, put up on VfD or simply kept as it is, bearing in mind that the main F1 page is the only article that links here? 999 10:26, 8 May 2004 (UTC)

It's better to use "Move this page" in that case. I will go on adding a redirect and moving talk page as well. Ericd 14:36, 8 May 2004 (UTC)

blue flags[edit]

As far as I know the blue flags only mean that a faster driver is coming up behind you, and is shown even when this driver is in the same lap. If he is, you don't have to let him pass of course. (Tinus)

Perhaps I worded it badly. The FIA regulations define it thus: "Blue flag - Warns a driver that he is about to be lapped and to let the faster car overtake. Pass three blue flags without complying and the driver risks being penalised. Blue lights are also displayed at the end of the pit lane when the pit exit is open and a car on track is approaching." Rdsmith4 19:54, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
That quote, which suggests that the blue flag is only used on a driver who is about to be lapped, is from the official Formula One website's guide [1], right? BBC Sport's flag guide [2] says that the blue flag is shown to any driver who is being approached by a faster car. I skimmed the FIA F1 Sporting Regulations [3] (PDF file) but couldn't find anything about flags. Other websites mainly only mention the blue flag being used in a 'backmarker' situation but some mention it being used with cars racing for position and also for cars exiting the pits. My suspicion is that the blue flag simply means that a faster car is approaching but that in practice it is only used on 'backmarkers' (that's the only time I've seen it used). SamH 22:05, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Yes, you're right of course, appears to have paraphrased from the FIA regs. The PDF you linked mentions blue flags only for use at the exit of the pitlane to signal an oncoming car, but it seems the actual flag definitions are found in Appendix H (PDF) of the International Sporting Code, which is a general FIA rulebook. (The FIA certainly has a lot of rules.)
From Appendix H: "d) Light Blue flag: This should normally be waved, as an indication to a driver that he is about to be overtaken. It has different meanings during practice and during the race. At all times: A stationary flag should be displayed to a driver leaving the pits if traffic is approaching on the track. During practice: Give way to a faster car which is about to overtake you. During the race: The flag should normally be shown to a car about to be lapped and, when shown, the driver concerned must allow the following car to pass at the earliest opportunity.
I will change the article to make this clear - hope that's OK. Rdsmith4 22:42, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

start from pit[edit]

The article says: "Starting from the pit lane means they start at the tail end of the grid, however, they can not only change an engine, but also start the race on a full load of fuel and with fresh tires" (Race procedure). Is this correct? Is changing of tires (under the new regulations) allowed? Also doesn't refueling AND changing tires in the same pitstop result in a drive-through penalty? Or does a start from the pit not count as a pitstop? Felsir 06:44, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

I think when cars start from the pits and want to add extra fuel (if they were top ten qualifiers) they can't add fuel until the race starts. So it counts as a pitstop. I think one driver was punished (since the race fuel thing started) for refueling in the pits at the start - the start was delayed because someone had stalled, but the team started the fuelling when they thought the lights were going out, instead of when the lights actually did.

if they must do other significant work, body work or suspension adjustments, the car will start from the pit lane. This isn't strictly correct. At Monaco Massa crashed in practice and he started from last on the grid (only because he hadn't set a time). However as long as the damaged parts are replaced with identically set up parts there is no penalty. Maybe if the team wished to change the setup the car would have to start from the pits.

If, for some reason, the car cannot start the race (engine failure during qualifying or practice, suspension fails, etc), the car can still join the race, but will take a 10-position penalty at the start. The ten-place penalty is only for engine failures that occur before qualifying. No other problems get punished. (Engine fails during/after qualifying and the car goes to the back.) --Don Speekingleesh 22:42, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Reason for technical limitations[edit]

I seem to remember reading somewhere that if all the technical innovations had been allowed to continue unregulated, it's estimated that todays formula one cars would be capable of a top speed of over 400 mph, and 0-100 in about 2 seconds. Might be worth incorporating to demonstrate need for restrictions on technology in F1. 10:45, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone know if the two most severe possible penalties listed (being banned for a number of races, and being banned for the rest of the championship) have ever been applied, and if so when? FiggyBee 17:40, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

I think the worse penalty was applied to Tyrell. Ericd 17:53, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

BAR-Honda was banned for a number of races in 2005 after some, um, misunderstandings, over the rules on weight and fuel remaining in the car. 4u1e

Well M. Schumacher in 1997 was disqualified from the World Championship, which I suppose is even more extreme than being banned for the rest of the championship. Alexj2002 16:23, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

I'd disagree - Schumacher recieved a complete non-punishment. None of his 1997 results were removed from him, only his standing in a championship he didn't win. Being DSQed for (part of) a season meaning missing races and chances to gain podiums and wins. --Don Speekingleesh 06:58, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Don't forget that he also had to do 'Community Service' for the FIA's road car safety campaign. Nice one Max, he won't do that again in a hurry. Oh... miterdale 12:16, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Start Procudure[edit]

From the article: "The race is started by ten red lights, controlled by Charlie Whiting. The lights illuminate two at a time, left to right, in one-second intervals, and then go out simultaneously

F1 Start Lights (as Alexj2002 believes them to be)

after an interval of between four and seven seconds. When the lights go out, the race begins."

10 red lights? I'm almost sure it's only five (see [4] for example. The lights appear from videos I've watched to be arranged as shown on the right. The official F1 website [5] agrees "Once all cars have safely taken up their grid positions at the end of the formation lap five red lights will appear in sequence at one-second intervals" Unless there are any objection, I'm going to change the article. Alexj2002 13:32, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Watching the race today (2006 Turkish Grand Prix) it's definately 5. I'm changing the article. Alexj2002 23:19, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Would it be worth saying that this regulation was first brought into Formula One at the start of the 1996 season? --Phill talk Edits 15:57, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

For several years now it has been ten red lights - however on TV we only see the reverse side which is condensed to the two rows (5 red, 3 orange, 2 green) we are familiar with. The Starting lights proper are arranged in four rows of 5 - 5 orange on the top row, then 5 green, then two rows of 5 red, as seen in my pictures from 2005 British GP [6], [7], [8] Scrxisi (talk) 14:48, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Driver's view of gantry lights
My understanding is that this is the light layout as the driver sees it (my diagram at right), correct ? So why does this article still state 5 ? Together with Formula One racing and Formula One. Makes sense to me that the lights are duplicated - is it for safety (in case one fails) ? However, F1's own website states "five red lights will appear in sequence at one-second intervals. These red lights are then extinguished to signal the start of the race" [ ] and [ ]. But F1's own photo (Slide 1 in sequence) of the light gantry as seen by drivers [ ] indeed shows lights in pairs i.e. 10 reds. Huh ? How does this error keep getting trotted out ? Rcbutcher (talk) 00:23, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Animation of driver's view of start sequence lights

I've created an animated gif showing race start sequence as the drivers actually see it for this article based on actual photos and videos, giving minimum four seconds between all lights coming on and going out to start the race. Comments ? Rcbutcher (talk) 05:03, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

I've corrected the error introduced by user:Alexj2002 in 2006. This appears to have corrupted the article which previously correctly discussed red lights in 5 pairs. Watching TV is not basis for updating encyclopedias. Rcbutcher (talk) 11:11, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Are TV viewers still seeing different start lights to what the drivers see ? If so, idiotic. Why ? I see websites about programming F1 start lights for PCs and games and they all show the TV view rather than the driver view. ?? Rcbutcher (talk) 11:20, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

To Be Done[edit]

(transferred from the "History" section of the article): crash test, minimal weight, fuel rules, aerodymics rules, tyre size, number of wheels. (Althought I think some of these have already been at least partly done). DH85868993 04:05, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Gentlemen, start your lawsuits[edit]

Some questions. When was the blue flag rule introduced? What regs govern the type of fuel? (It used to be a mix of gasoline & nitromethane, & in the '80s a crazy mix of benzenes & other exotic stuff with only a passing relationship to gasoline.) And are onboard starters prohibited, or just undesirable (due to adding weight)? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 13:34, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Fuel regulations were introduced in the late 50s - prior to that you could use pretty much anything, with alcohol being the primary constituent. For, IIRC, 1958 the rules mandated "pump petrol" but this was soon changed to some kind of AvGas as the latter was subject to proper standards. By the 1970s the regs stipulated a maximum octane rating (conspiracy theorists can look at the penalties applied to McLaren and Penske by the Italian stewards in 1976); this allowed the toluene-based fuels used in the turbo era, before the rules were tightened. Anyone au fait with the current state of F1 fuel regulations is either a professional or has far too much time on his hands... Onboard starters were certainly mandatory in the 60s and 70s - McLaren developed a compressed-air starter system for the M23 to save the weight of a GBFO battery. I don't think they have starters these days as you can't start them without half a dozen engineers and a laptop in attendance. Mr Larrington (talk) 01:07, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
Thx. (Yes, I still wanted to know... ;p )
As for onboard starters, I was unaware of them being fitted ever, & certainly not now; I've never seen film of one actually used... We may be disagreeing on "starter", tho. I recall "plug-in" units used in the pits (maybe that's Indy only), but I had in mind self-contained systems, like a road car would use; AFAIK, that's never been aboard. (You're probably right about the modern systems; self-starting now more/less requires a trained engineer as co-driver. ;p ) TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 20:17, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Stop-go penalties with short pit lanes[edit]

I recall something about a circuit where the pit lane actually isn't much slower than the normal circuit, due to it being a short-cut, and so penalties that would be drive-throughs at other tracks are stop-gos there. Not sure what circuit it is. (Donington Park had the pit lane route be FASTER, but it only held one GP). (talk) 19:55, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Tyre types available to teams at a race[edit]

"slick dry-weather tyres (super soft, soft, medium and hard), of which two compounds are provided at each race". I find this confusing. Do all teams get the same two types of tyres at a race, in which case how are the two types decided; or can each team or driver select which two it/he gets ? Rcbutcher (talk) 23:50, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

The tyre supplier (Pirelli) decides which two compounds are provided for each race. Every team is supplied with the same two compounds. DH85868993 (talk) 05:59, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
OK, so what decides which compounds are provided for a race ? As a general reader rather than a motorsport fan, these are still the kinds of questions I ask when I read Wikipedia articles. I like Wikipedia to explain what/why/how. Rcbutcher (talk) 10:07, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
The decision is based on factors such as the characteristics of the track surface (abrasiveness, etc) and expected temperatures. At most races, the two compounds are "two apart" (i.e. hard and soft or medium and super-soft), so that there is a marked difference in speed and longevity between the two compounds, placing extra importance on the teams' strategy of when/how long to use each compound in the race. DH85868993 (talk) 12:15, 9 April 2015 (UTC)