Prior to every Grand Prix the teams and drivers must
adhere to a very strict starting procedure. This gets underway 30
minutes before the formation lap when the pit lane is opened.
are then free to complete a reconnaissance lap of the circuit before
taking up their grid positions. If a driver wishes to complete
additional reconnaissance laps he must pass through the pit lane each
time in order to bypass the grid.
The pit lane closes 15 minutes
prior to the formation lap. Any drivers still in the pit lane at this
time will have to start the race from there.
Ten minutes before
the start the grid must be cleared except for team technical staff, race
officials and drivers. With three minutes to go all cars must have
their wheels fitted (any car not complying will receive a 10-second time
With a minute to go all cars must have their engines
running. All personnel must then leave the grid at least 15 seconds
before the green lights come on to signal the start of the formation
Any driver who has a problem immediately prior to the green
light must raise his arm to indicate this. Once the rest of the field
has moved off marshals will push the car into the pit lane.
the formation lap no practice starts are allowed. Overtaking is also
forbidden unless passing a car that has slowed due to a technical
problem. Passed cars may in turn re-overtake in order to regain their
grid position if the problem is resolved during the course of the
However, any driver who is still on the grid when
all other cars have moved off on the formation lap, but then
subsequently gets away, may not re-pass cars to regain his grid
position, but must instead start from the back.
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.
These red lights are then extinguished to signal the start of the race.
a driver has a problem on the grid immediately prior to the start he
must raise his arm and the start will be aborted. A new formation lap,
which will count towards the race distance, will then be completed.
only exceptions to these start procedures are connected to the weather.
If it starts to rain in the three minutes prior to the start then the
abort lights will come on and the starting procedure will revert to the
10-minute point to allow teams to change to appropriate tyres.
the weather is exceptionally bad the race director may choose to abort
the start and resume the starting procedure only when conditions have
improved. Alternatively, he may decide to start the race behind the