The Lowdown on the 2016 F1 Season
If you think that Formula 1 is just people driving around in circles and that anyone can do it then Soccer is just people kicking a ball into a net. Formula One (or F1) is a sport and it’s entertainment. It’s a spectacle. If you don’t think so then why do you stand next to Voortrekker on Sunday nights looking impressed as fuck at VW Golfs with spoilers the size of bathroom doors?
Allow me to drop some knowledge on you and to enlighten you to what makes F1 so great. I will begin by looking at the race weekend as a whole and all the tracks.
There are 21 races in 2016 (the most races ever in a season) starting in Australia on 20 March and ending in Abu Dhabi on 27 November.
The Race Weekend:
The winner of each race receives 25 points, with the lowest-scoring position 10th receiving 1 point.
Points awarded at Formula 1 race weekends
- 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
A race weekend consists of three practice sessions, qualifying and the race itself.
There are three stages to qualifying – Q1, Q2 and Q3:
In Q1 drivers have 18 minutes to clock a fast time. On a 22-car grid, as will be the case in 2016, the seven slowest cars are eliminated once time runs out and will start the race in the final seven places on the grid.
In Q2 the remaining cars participate in a 15-minute session with the aim of recording a time that will secure their place in the top 10. The five slowest cars are eliminated and fill places 11 to 15 on the grid.
For the final part of qualifying, Q3, the remaining cars have 12 minutes to clock their fastest possible time as they compete for pole position for the race, as well as the remaining nine places on the grid.
The race itself cannot exceed two hours, unless it is red-flagged – stopped because of an accident or poor track conditions. In such circumstances, the total duration of the race and any red-flag stoppages cannot exceed four hours.
Flags are used to communicate vital messages to drivers. These include but are not limited to: yellow flag (slow down, don’t overtake), green (track is clear), red (session suspended), blue (a faster car wants to overtake), checkered (session ended), black + car number (return to pits / disqualification).
Safety cars are generally used if an accident or bad weather prevent normal racing from continuing safely. The aim of the Safety car is to make it safer for the marshals to clear the accident and any debree or to wait for track conditions to improve.
Virtual Safety Car:
After an accident that saw Jules Bianchi suffer a serious head injury at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014 which he would eventually die from, the rule makers came up with the Virtual Safety Car which would reduce the speed by 35%.
A race track consist out of three sectors. First sector spands from the start/finish line til a third of the track. The second is the middle third of the track and the third sector is the last third of the track till the start/ finish line.
If there are yellow flags then the yellow flags will affect the whole sector. So for example, a crash in Sector 2 will cause the yellow flags to come out and the other drivers will have to slow down to a specific speed and wont be allowed to overtake in that sector.
Below please find the tracks and the dates they will take place attached. Every F1 track is unique and offers its own challenges. Among the 21 races this season, 4 are scheduled to take place at night and 3 are full on street circuits.
Australian Grand Prix – 20 March 2016
Chinese Grand Prix – 3 April 2016
Bahrain Grand Prix – 17 April 2016
Russian Grand Prix – 01 May 2016
Spanish Grand Prix – 15 May 2016
Monaco Grand Prix – 29 May 2016
Canadian Grand Prix – 12 June 2016
European Grand Prix – 19 June 2016
Austrian Grand Prix – July 3 2016
British Grand Prix – 10 July 2016
Hungarian Grand Prix – 24 July 2016
German Grand Prix – 31 July 2016
Belgian Grand Prix – 28 August 2016
Italian Grand Prix – 4 September 2016
Singapore Grand Prix – 18 September 2016
Malaysian Grand Prix – 02 October 2016
Japanese Grand Prix – 09 October 2016
USA Grand Prix – 23 October 2016
Mexican Grand Prix – 30 October 2016
Brazilian Grand Prix – 13 November 2016
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – 27 November 2016
Well, there you have it, useful info regarding the 2016 F1 Season.
Watch this space for updates in the Sport category on Running Wolf’s Rant.