Formula 1 Rules And Regulations

Formula One

Formula 1 Racing is the leading version of sports racing. Formula 1, also known as F1, is a global sport with many countries participating in year-long races. F1 racing descends from the Grand Prix, the first form of motor racing. The very first Grand Prix made way for the sport of Formula and, ultimately, Formula 1, the foremost motor sport. It’s earliest days began in Europe, a leader in building luxury cars, in 1946 after being held off until the end of WWII. Since then, F1 has expanded overseas, even though it is dominated by European drivers. The very first F1 Hall of Famer was Nino Farina in 1950, when the sport officially recorded winners. Currently, the #1 driver, since 2018, is Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain. The top five leading nations in Formula 1 racing are Great Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, and Finland holding both the 3rd and 5th place.

The Circuit

formula 1 circuit

Current circuits range from 4.3 km and 5.9 km in length, or approx. 2.7 to 3.6 miles. There is no set number of laps, but they must exceed 300 km, or approx. 190 miles in distance.

The starting line consists of five lights, on a traffic light board, to signify when the game begins, and 10 lanes grouped into five columns.

The Objectives

The goal of Formula 1 racing is to score the maximum number of points by placing first among 10 other top participants.

Game Format and Duration

Race weekends last three days, all of which lead up to the final day: The Grand Prix. On Day 1, drivers are given two 90-minute warm-up sessions. During Day 2, drivers receive one last warm up in the morning, but must also participate in qualifying sessions later that afternoon.

Qualifying Sessions

Qualifying sessions determine the race order during the Grand Prix. The session is divided into three sects: Q1, Q2, and Q3. Qualifying sessions last one hour total and knock out the slowest drivers in each session.

  • Q1: Lasts 18 minutes, with 20 drivers. Knocks out five of the slowest participants. They occupy the spots 16 - 20 on the grid, 20 being the final position.
  • Q2: Lasts 15 minutes, with 16 drivers. Knocks out another five of the slowest drivers. They occupy grid spaces 11-15.
  • Q3: 12 minutes, 10 drivers. This determines the top 10’s positioning on race day. The goal is to finish first and have the optimum position on the grid.

Grand Prix

Before the run begins, drivers are given a warm-up lap. This lap familiarizes the drivers with the terrain, and also gives a chance to address any vehicle issues. The participants are allotted 30 mins to drive in ‘pit lanes’, lanes that run parallel to the circuit. At the official start, drivers line up on the Circuit starting line. The traffic light lights up red from left to right, 1 second apart, to signal that the race is beginning. Once all the lights are lit, they hold for a few seconds and then shut off to begin the race.

If there is an interruption at the start, the lights will remain on, and the orange lights will light to signify that there has been an interruption.

The run time is not allowed to exceed two hours. At the two hour mark, whoever is in the lead once they pass the checkered flag is the winner, regardless of whether they reached the final lap.

The first three to finish the circuit will receive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively. They each will receive a trophy whilst standing on a podium.

Formula 1 Teams and Players

Each team is funded by the luxury car brand they’re signed to, such as Mercedes, Ferrari, or Aston Martin. Each team can have no more than four drivers during the season, but they must enter at least two drivers for a race. During a race, there are ten teams that enter two drivers each. These drivers participate in the qualifying sessions, and the best of the 10 move on to the Grand Prix. If a team has both of their drivers qualify, that magnifies their chances at better scores. Both drivers points are added to the final score for the team at the end of the Grand Prix.

The drivers are a major component to Formula 1 Teams, but under these teams are not just drivers, but also managers, engineers, and mechanics. There are managers who work for the company and attend races. And, there are many engineers who work to create the most efficient cars, and each specializes in a specific area of design. Mechanics focus on upkeeping the car during races, and after.

During the race, drivers are accompanied by Pit Crews, which consist of approx. 20 people who do very quick maintenance during a race. The crew is usually chosen from pre-staffed mechanics. The Pit Crew is designed to be efficient, and work very quickly so they don’t severely impact the driver’s time during the race.


Despite being in a vehicle, drivers must take safety precautions. They drive with helmets, and HANS, an acronym for hand and neck support. Helmets are lightweight, and fire resistant. HANS is used to protect the driver’s vertebrae in case of a collision. They’re made of a carbon firbe and are attached to the seatbelt in the cockpit.  

Drivers wear suits specifically designed to be flame retardant in case of a crash and combustion. The suits meet NASA regulations and have the sponsorship displayed. There are handles on the shoulders of the suit so that the driver can strap into the seat. Driver’s reach very high speeds while driving, so it’s important to take precaution and make sure that they’re secure.

Fouls and Penalties

Drivers will be penalized for not upholding driver decorum. If drivers: jump the start of the race, cause an avoidable accident, unfairly block another driver,  or speed in the pit lane, they will receive penalties.

The three most common penalties are time penalties, a five or 10-second delay, and a “drive-through” penalty. Time penalties force the driver to drive back to their garage and wait for either 10 or five seconds before joining the race.

The way time penalties are imposed vary, and sometimes may serve as a warning, at the discretion of the stewards. A drive through penalty calls for the drivers to drive through the pit lane at the start of the race, and then immediately join the race.

There are more severe penalties: moving a drivers grid position, stricter time penalties, or driver suspension.

Driver’s may also be reprimanded, and, after three reprimands concerning driving infringements, they will automatically receive a 10th place grid placement at the next event.

There will be no penalty imposed if stewards cannot prove that one driver is to blame.

Along with driving infringements, there are also technical infringements that will receive a penalty. If a driver uses more than their allocated power unit, or if they have an unscheduled gearbox change, they will receive a penalty.

If a driver uses additional element beyond the limits, a ten-place grid penalty will be given for the first offense. After that, if they use other additional elements a five-place penalty is imposed. Continued use gives a ten-place penalty, and so on.Drivers drive with a ‘Super License’, which accrues points just like a normal driver’s license. If a driver receives 12 points they will have their Super License suspended for 12 months, a full season.

Scoring and winning

Points are awarded based upon where the driver's places. 1st place is awarded 25 points, 2nd is awarded 18 points, and 3rd is awarded 15 points. During a race weekend, drivers participate in qualifying sessions, and the best of the sessions compete in the Grand Prix.


  • 1st : 25 points
  • 2nd : 18 points
  • 3rd : 15 points
  • 4th : 12 points
  • 5th : 10 points
  • 6th : 8 points
  • 7th : 6 points
  • 8th : 4 points
  • 9th : 2 points
  • 10th : 1 point

Rules of Formula 1

Drivers must wear helmets, HANS, and race suits specifically designed for F1 races.

F1 Race circuits are approx. between 2.7 miles and 3.6 miles.

Teams consist of 4 drivers, max.

The race must last no longer than 2 hours.

Vehicles must be fully fueled at the beginning of a race, pit crews are no longer allowed to refuel during a race.

At the 2 hours mark, if the race is not completed 1st place is awarded to the driver that is in the lead.

In the event of a tie, the driver with better race stats will be awarded 1st place.

If less than 75% of the race is completed due to race suspension, and the inability to restart, drivers will receive half points.

Driver’s will receive no points if less than two laps have been completed during a race suspension.

There are three categories of flags: Status, Instruction, and Chequered Flags. Status flags indicate the status of the race, Instruction flags indicate directions for the drivers concerning penalties and race logistics, and the Chequered flag indicates the end of the race.

Races are 3-day events of the following, Day 1: 90-minute warm-ups, Day 2: final warm-up & qualifying sessions, and Day 3: Grand Prix.

Driver’s vehicles must be up to, but not exceeding, regulations. Drivers are not allowed to have extra power units to assist them while driving, they will receive penalties at the discretion of stewards.

Drivers must adhere to the rules of F1, and the rules of orderly sportsmanship. Cheating will result in penalties or suspension.