How does qualifying work in Formula 1

Formula 1 qualifying mode

  • What do Q1, Q2, Q3 mean?
  • How does qualifying mode work?
  • Are there any rule changes?
  • What are the most important Formula 1 jobs in qualifying?

... these and many more questions are answered on this page. In addition to training and the race itself, qualifying is one of the most important events on every Formula 1 weekend. After qualifying, you can finally see which driver will start in which position in the Formula 1 race.

wikimedia, anthonyfuchs (CC BY-SA 4.0)

However, since the Chinese Grand Prix, it is history again. Here you can see what format would have been intended:

Q1-Q3: All information about the three phases of qualifying

The first part of qualifying is divided into two phases. Q1 starts with a seven-minute ramp-up time. After these first seven minutes, a pilot is eliminated every 90 seconds. At the end of Q1, there are 15 pilots left to advance to the next lap.

After the end of the first section, all times are deleted and the procedure from Q1 is repeated. With one exception: the start-up time is no longer seven, but only six minutes. After this six-minute period, a driver is again eliminated every 90 seconds. Another seven vehicles will be eliminated in Q2.

Q3: The decision

At the end of Q2 there are still eight cars in the race for pole position. In the last qualifying segment, two drivers remain after 12:30 minutes. The drivers in the remaining two cars are allowed to use the remaining seconds to win the duel for pole position.

However, the cut does not take place exactly after 90 seconds during the showdown of the last two pilots. As an exception, the two remaining drivers are still allowed to finish their current lap after the time has expired, as is known from previous qualification models. The Formula 1 app can also help you to further refine this data. Of course, those responsible for F1 are also dependent on the latest technology.

Qualifying mode should be abolished at the beginning of the 2016 season. A new mode was used at the Australian Grand Prix, but it was not convincing. Below you can see how Formula 1 qualifying should be revolutionized. Before we get into a format that's already history, however, let's explain how the current mode works.

The old Formula 1 qualifying mode

The Q1 is 18 minutes long. All 22 pilots are at the start. The last six drivers are eliminated. However, you have to comply with the 107 percent rule. This means that your lap must not have been more than seven percent slower than the fastest in Q1. If this is not the case, they can ask for mercy. If the six slowest pilots in the other units have been fast enough, they are allowed to start in the race. If you are interested in Moto GP or already have a lot of knowledge, we recommend our MotoGP betting page. Not only betting odds but also a wealth of information awaits you there. But now back to qualifying mode.

Another six vehicles were eliminated in Q2. This section of qualifying lasts 15 minutes. The 107 percent rule no longer applies here. In the last section - i.e. in Q3 - the pole position is ultimately driven. The unit is twelve minutes long. The ten pilots get an additional set of tires for this, which they then have to return.

The other twelve drivers are allowed to use the additional set of tires in the race. The starting grid is determined by the fastest laps in the last section in which the drivers were allowed to participate. Those who only started in Q1 will be assigned places 17 to 22. The drivers who still drove in Q2, positions eleven to 17 and finally the drivers in Q3, positions one to ten.