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The most important Formula 1 2022 rules in one overview

Get to know the most important F1 rules

… and join in the conversation like a true F1 expert!

Formula 1’s popularity is skyrocketing. As you can see, more and more people are talking about Formula 1 and (novice) fans are looking for more insights into how everything works. Max Verstappen ended last year’s Formula 1 season with a spectacular race at Yas Marina – Abu Dhabi, taking the 2021 F1 Championship title on the very last lap.

Read the most important ins-and-outs about the (new) rules of Formula 1 2022 below. Watch the F1 2022 season in a different way!

1) 5 new F1 rules of 2022
2) General F1 racing rules
3) F1 safety rules
4) Technical F1 rules
5) All about practice and qualifying
6) Formule 1 programme 2022

1) The 5 most important new F1 racing rules of 2022

Let’s face it, following a race without knowing the F1 rules is tough, but don’t panic: this is your chance to become an F1 expert. The aim of new F1 rules is to make this extreme sport sustainable and fair, but also to improve the racing spectacle.

Discover the 5 most important new F1 rules below.

Formula 1 Paddock Monaco pit lane

1. New F1 tyres

This season all the F1 cars will have a whole new look because of the new Formula 1 tyres. The Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli has replaced the 13″ tyres with new 18″ tyres. These new tyres will provide more grip and less overheating so expect to see overtaking and action from start to finish.

The new tyre rule relates to the tyre blankets that the teams use to heat the tyres when they are in the garage. Previously, the front tyres were allowed to be heated to 100 degrees, but that will become 70 degrees from 2022. Also the rear tyres may be max 70 degrees.

2. Frozen developments of the engines

The development of Formula 1 engines is largely fixed as from 1st March 2022 the engine suppliers are not allowed to make any changes to the internal combustion engine and the turbo for four years. For some electrical components, the deadline is September 1st.

3. Restrictions on aerodynamic testing

History will be made this season, for the first time F1 teams will have to deal with the much talked about ‘aero handicap’ system. According to the FIA, the system should bring the results of the ten teams a step closer together.

In short: the smaller teams will get a chance to catch up. The system is simple: the lower a team is in the rankings, the more time it can spend in the wind tunnel and on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Higher up in the rankings? That means you get to spend less time testing new aerodynamics.

4. Lower budget ceiling

Every big popular sport involves a lot of money, and Formula 1 is no exception. Since 2021, Formula 1 has been working with a budget ceiling. This budget cap was introduced to give teams more equal opportunities on the track. In the 2022 F1 season, a budget of $145 million has been agreed. In 2023, the FIA wants to take another 5 million off this amount. Major players will be challenged to think differently and above all to use parts efficiently. This budget ceiling was introduced because some teams ‘only’ have 130 million to spend. Other teams, such as Red Bull Racing, can spend up to 400 million and by setting a budget cap, gives each team an equal opportunity.

formula 1 red bull car
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5. Safety car regulation

The FIA has published an updated version of the sporting regulations with a series of revisions, including the safety car regulation concerning moving cars. The safety car regulation reads as follows:

If the track marshal deems it safe to do so, and the message ‘LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE’ has been sent to all drivers via the official message system. When this message arrives, all cars that are a lap behind, or cars that are ‘lapped’, will overtake the cars in front of them including the safety car. These drivers will then rejoin the back of the grid by completing a full lap and the safety car will leave the track. In this way, everyone will drive again in the correct order and the race will be resumed.

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2) These are the general Formula 1 racing rules

Now that we have the new rules behind us, let’s move up a gear to the general F1 racing rules. Here they come!

How long are the Formula 1 races

All F1 rules are devised by the FIA, also known as the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. They make sure the race is carried out according to the rules and is also safe. The FIA has determined that a minimum of 305 kilometres per race must be driven. Every Grand Prix has its own circuit with a fixed distance. The number of laps per Grand Prix can therefore differ. A Grand Prix may not last longer than two hours and in practice a race lasts about 90 minutes.

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How many teams and drivers are there?

Formula 1 is, besides an individual sport, also a team sport! There are 20 drivers who drive in teams of 2. In the 2022 Formula 1 season there will be 10 teams competing. Below is a clear overview of all teams and their drivers.

 

Teams Drivers
Mercedes AMG F1 Hamilton, Russel
Red Bull Racing Verstappen, Pérez
McLaren Racing Norris, Ricciardo
Aston Martin F1 Team Stroll, Hülkenberg
Alpine F1 Alonso, Ocon
Scuderia Ferrari Sainz, Leclerc
Scuderia Alpha Tauri Gasly, Tsunoda
Alfa Romeo Racing Bottas, Zhou
Haas F1 Schumacher, Magnussen
Williams Racing Albon, Latifi

What is DRS and how do the DRS rules work?

Drag Reduction System, better known as DRS, is the system by which drivers can open their rear wing. Why is this necessary? The system is designed to facilitate overtaking. On a straight, the driver can use the system, which releases the downward pressure on the car. As you can guess, this allows the car to reach a higher top speed. When approaching a corner and the brakes are applied the wing closes automatically, this downward pressure allows the car to get through the corner better.

It is also important that DRS is only activated when there is less than 1 second between the two drivers. DRS Zones: in the GP race, drivers are only allowed to use DRS in certain places. In free practice and qualifying, drivers are allowed to use the Drag Reduction System anytime and anywhere.

Formula 1 Grand Prix Imola
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This is what you need to know about the track limits

The purpose of track limits is simple: drivers are not allowed to cross the white lines with the whole car. Often you see that drivers use the kerbs (outside the white lines) but keep just a small part of their tyre on the right side of the white line. They are not doing anything wrong but using the track and the rules to their full extent. Not all circuits have white lines as track limits. In Monaco, for example, you have a wall as a track limit.

formula 1 spain circuit de catalunya

3) Find out more about the F1 safety rules

The FIA does everything in its power to ensure the safety of the drivers, stakeholders and spectators. This is an absolute top priority within this extreme sport. These F1 safety rules are important to know while following a race!

Explanation of the F1 flags 🏁

During a Grand Prix, practice and qualifying sessions, flags are used to communicate with the drivers. There are different types of flags represented by different colours, all of which have their own meaning. Below you can read more about the most common and important flags!

Meaning of the flags

Blue flag

A blue flag is waved when a Formula 1 driver, who is 1 or more laps behind, is about to be overtaken. This driver has to give way to the faster F1-cars. A driver gets a ‘penalty’ when he has ignored three blue flags.

Yellow flag

The (single) yellow flag means there is danger. F1 drivers are asked to reduce speed, and drivers are not allowed to overtake each other.

A double yellow flag may also be used, in which case there is immediate danger ahead on the track. Drivers must reduce speed even more and prepare to stop if necessary. They are also not allowed to overtake each other in this situation.

On digital screens the signal ‘SC’ may appear, this means Safety Car will come out. A safety car enters the track before a major incident. To make it safe, the drivers must drive slowly and if this is not done the driver will receive penalty points!

Red flag

When the red flag is waved, the race will be stopped as it is too dangerous to race on the track. This can be due to an accident, debris on the track or extreme weather conditions.

Green flag

A green flag is waved which means that the danger has passed. The Formula 1 cars are allowed to drive at full speed again – and they are also allowed to overtake each other. The colour green means that the track is cleared and that it is safe to drive. The green flag is also shown at the start of a race.

Black flag

The black flag disqualifies the F1 driver concerned. They must immediately return to the pit lane and for them the session is over. The black flag is shown together with the start number of the driver concerned.

All about the F1 safety car rules

As mentioned earlier, the safety of everyone involved in Formula 1 is priority number 1, hence the existence of all these Formula 1 rules. Read more about the safety car and the virtual safety car below!

Safety car

During Grands Prix, the safety car is used in the event of a major accident, heavy rain or in circumstances where the cars cannot be driven safely. Signs along the track will read “SC”. This means that the safety car is deployed and enters the track to slow everyone down.

This season Mercedes has a brand new F1 safety car, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series. In addition, Mercedes also has the new F1 medical car, the GT 63 S 4MATIC+. Both cars are red and are also very pleasant to look at. According to many Germans, these are the most powerful versions of these cars!

Nowadays, all new Formula 1 cars have LEDs on the steering wheel that inform the drivers which flags are waved. A yellow LED means that the safety car will be deployed.

GP Monaco Paddock View

Virtual safety car

The virtual safety car is a system that indicates that the F1 drivers must drive slower during an incident or dangerous situation. In 2015, the virtual safety car was introduced to Formula 1. When two yellow flags are waved, the virtual safety car is deployed. Drivers who still drive too fast and do not obey the rules will receive a time penalty. When the virtual safety car is deployed, drivers are only allowed to go to the pit lane to change tyres.

During the Monaco Grand Prix in 2015, the very first virtual safety car was deployed, this was after Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean collided at the end of the main straight.

GP Monaco Paddock View

4) Discover all about the technical rules in Formula 1

The technical rules can be a bit tricky to remember. Don’t worry: we’re here to explain the technical rules of Formula 1 as simply as possible.

New tyre regulations in Formula 1

You may have already seen the aggressive look of the new F1 cars, because this season you will see the all new black F1 tyres. The rubber for the tyres is provided exclusively by Pirelli, an Italian tyre manufacturer. From 2022, the rubber will go on the rims of 18″, instead of 13″. “The bigger the better” is what they say right? Time will tell!

In addition, an old F1 rule around tyres has been crossed out. In 2014, the so-called Q2 rule came into being. Drivers who qualified for Q3 (qualifying session 3), had to start the race with the tyres they had driven the fastest time with during Q2 (qualifying session 2). This rule was dropped for the 2022 Formula 1 season.

Grand Prix Netherlands
pirelli wheels formula 1

Fun fact: did you know that drivers have to drive on at least two different colour/type of tyres?

For example, you could drive a whole race on one set (hard, medium or soft) of tyres, but you are not allowed to, so the drivers have to make one pit stop to change tyres. The exception: the tyre rule does not apply if the track is officially declared too wet by the Clerk of the Course. In that case you can start and finish the race on Full Wets. Changing to another colour/type of tyre would be dangerous.

Regular tyres:
Red: Soft
Yellow: Medium
White: Hard

Rain tyres:
Green: Intermediates
Blue: Full Wet

pirelli wheels formula 1

Explanation of F1 engine rules

The engines of F1 cars are certainly not unimportant. That’s where the horsepower comes from and is where the speed is ultimately determined. The engines have many regulations, but the horsepower is unlimited.

Sizes of the F1 cars

The size of a Formula 1 car can be a maximum of 2 metres. This distance is measured from the side of the new F1 tyres, when they are in a straight position. Also, the weight of the car is an important issue. Did you know that the car is weighed with the driver present? It is therefore disadvantageous if you are, for example, large and heavy.

Currently the FIA has determined that new F1 cars must weigh a minimum of 795kg including the driver. A minimum of 80 kg is required for the driver together with the seat. So very occasionally extra weights have to be placed under the seat to reach 80 kg. Together with the bigger and heavier new F1 tyres, the time per lap will probably be a fraction slower than in previous years.

New F1 rules regarding fuel regulations

Unlike the engines, the fuel regulations have changed. In 2022, F1 cars will use a fuel mixture with 10% bioethanol, also known as E10. The FIA wanted to make extreme motorsport more sustainable, which is why this type of fuel was chosen. The disadvantage is that it provides less power.

Refuelling during the race has been banned for several seasons now. You have to race with one full tank. So the cars start out heavy because of the amount of fuel in the tank, but towards the end you will see that the laps become faster and faster because of the weight that is decreasing when the fuel is consumed.

Fun fact: do you think your own car already guzzles a lot of petrol? A Formula 1 car can consume about 75 litres in 100 km.

Main Stand Abu Dhabi

5) How does Formula 1 qualifying work?

Before the Grand Prix, drivers are allowed three free practice sessions and one qualifying session. Below you will find the explanation of the F1 rules regarding practice and qualifying.

Everything about Formula 1 free practice

The free practice sessions, also called FP(Free Practice), are the sessions that the teams use to practice for qualifying and the final GP race. In total you have three free practice sessions per Grand Prix. The first (FP1) and second (FP2) free practice sessions take place on Friday. These sessions are both 1.5 hours long. The third free practice (FP3) takes place before qualifying on Saturday and lasts one hour. The aim of these free practice sessions is for the drivers and teams to find the right set-up for qualifying and the GP race.

Main Stand Abu Dhabi

How important is qualifying?

The dress rehearsals. The F1 qualifying session is the most important for the drivers before the Grand Prix. It determines the starting grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday. The driver who sets the fastest lap time gains pole position (P1). That driver gets the advantage of starting at the front of the grid during the Grand Prix. Qualifying is divided into three parts: Q1, Q2 and Q3.

Formula 1 cars after start

Explanation of qualification: Q1, Q2 and Q3

Q1

For 18 minutes all 20 Formula 1 drivers may participate in the first session. After 18 minutes, the 5 slowest drivers are eliminated. At the Grand Prix they will start from positions 16 to 20.

Q2

This is followed by the second qualifying session. The remaining 15 cars continue. The drivers now have 15 minutes to set a good lap time. The fastest 10 F1 drivers move on to Q3 to start the final session. The remaining drivers will start during the GP on positions eleven to fifteen.

Q3

The fastest 10 go through! They will fight for the best starting position, which is P1. In 12 minutes the drivers have to set their fastest time. Based on the results of qualifying times, the drivers will start from positions one to ten at the Grand Prix on Sunday.

After the qualification, grid penalties can be given. There are two types of grid penalties:

Behavioural infringement: the driver has broken the rules because of dangerous behaviour on the track.
Technical infringement: here you can think of using too many engine parts, installing a new gearbox, etc.

For example, if you have three grid penalties and qualify in P1, then you automatically drop 3 positions. Logically, the other drivers move up a place.

Sprint Qualifying = ‘Sprint’

Big changes will take place in 2022 regarding the F1 sprint races. Three sprints have been announced for the 2022 F1 season. A sprint, which used to be called ‘Sprint Qualifying’, is a race where you can earn extra points. This season drivers will sprint at the Grands Prix of Imola, Italy (Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari), Austria (Red Bull Ring) and Brazil (Interlagos).

This year you can earn more points during a sprint. On Saturday, the driver in first place gets eight points, the driver in second place gets seven points, and so on. The driver in eighth place gets one point and the rest get zero points. 34 points can be gained during a sprint race weekend. Then the driver has to win both races and set the fastest lap on Sunday. Last season only the top three received points.

During a sprint race you drive a maximum of 100 km, which takes about half an hour. The final results of the sprint race are the starting positions for the GP race the next day. In short: qualifying is moved to Friday, the sprint race is on Saturday and the Grand Prix is on Sunday.

5) Formula 1 programme 2022

Cheers! You’re now up to date with all the F1 2022 rules. Talk to other Formula 1 connoisseurs and brag about your racing knowledge to your colleagues. Want to know everything about the 2022 racing calendar? Get inspired by our other blog about the F1 2022 schedule. Here you can learn all about the circuits and the 2022 F1 calendar.

Which race is on your calendar this year? Check out all our F1 packages and indulge yourself with luxury, convenience and comfort.

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