F1 Qualifying Guide

Written by Rishabh Kaushik.

( 2 Votes )

For much of the sport's history, qualifying sessions differed little from practice sessions; drivers would have one or more entire sessions in which to attempt to set their fastest time, sometimes within a limited number of attempts, with the grid order determined by each driver's best single lap, fastest (on pole position) to slowest.

On Saturday at 14:00 (usually) the qualifying session takes place to determine the running order at the beginning of the race.

The qualifying hour is split into three sessions of 20, 15 and 10 minutes, with a seven-minute break between the first and second sessions and an eight-minute break between the second and third sessions.

During the first session Q1, all 24 cars run laps at any time. The seven slowest cars are assigned grid places 18 through 24. Lap times are reset for the second session Q2, which sees the remaining 17 cars on track together. Again, the seven slowest of those cars are assigned grid places 11 through 17. The final qualifying session Q3 is the shootout among the final ten competitors to determine the final 10 grid places. The number of laps run during any session is uncontrolled.

In the first two periods, cars may run any tyre compound they wish, and drivers eliminated in these periods are allowed to change their choice of tyres prior to the race. Cars taking part in the final period, however, must start the race with the tyres used during their fastest lap (exactly the same tyres, not just the same compound), barring changes in weather that require usage of wet-weather tyres. With refuelling not allowed during races from 2010, the final session is run with low-fuel configuration and the cars are refuelled after qualifying.

The one who set the fastest lap during Q3 is known as the pole setter.

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F1 Statistics

Brazil GRAND PRIX
23-25 November, 2012

Practice 1 : Result

Practice 2 : Result

Practice 3 : Result

Qualifying : Result

Race : Result

1 Sebastian Vettel 281
2 Fernando Alonso 278
3 Kimi Räikkönen 207
4 Lewis Hamilton 190
5 Jenson Button 188
6 Mark Webber 179
7 Felipe Massa 122
8 Romain Grosjean 96
9 Nico Rosberg 93
10 Sergio Perez 66
Full Table

1 Red Bull Racing - Renault 460
2 Ferrari 400
3 Mclaren - Mercedes 378
4 Lotus - Renault 303
5 Mercedes 142
6 Sauber - Ferrari 126
7 Force India - Mercedes 109
8 Williams - Renault 76
9 STR - Ferrari 26
10 Marussia-Cosworth 0
Full Table