Formula One – Popular Terms

This chapter consists of all the popular terminology used in Formula One. It is to understand the language of the sport better.

107% rule − A driver should not exceed 107 percent of fastest time in qualifying session; if he fails to do so, then he is not allowed to start the race. He is allowed to start if he sets a suitable time during the practice session.

Backmarker − The drivers lagging behind are called backmarkers. They are shown blue flag to give way for leading drivers.

Blistering − Improper selection of tire compound can cause excess heat that can lead to chunks of rubber breaking off from the tire. This is called blistering.

Cockpit − The seating area of the driver in a F1 car is called the cockpit.

Delta Time − The difference of time between two laps or two cars is referred to as delta time.

Drive-through penalty − A penalty imposed for minor offence or violation of rules on track. It requires the driver to drive at a minimum speed and enter the pit lane without stopping. The driver is allowed to re-join the race.

Flat spot − The portion of the tire where it is heavily worn out due to spin or extreme breaking is called the flat spot.

Formation lap or warm-up lap − Cars are driven for a lap from the grid before the start of the race and then get back to grid positions. This is known as the warm-up lap.

Jump start − Sensors are installed at grid positions to monitor the cars that start before all the red lights go off signaling the start of race. Such start is called jump start and the driver earns a penalty for it.

Lollipop − The sign board at the pit stop that signals the driver to apply brakes and stay in first gear before the car is lowered from jacks.

Parc ferme − A restricted area where no team members are allowed and all race cars are driven here after completion of practice or race. This area is supervised by race stewards only.

Pit board − A board held at pit wall to inform the driver about delta time, remaining number of laps, and current position.

Pit wall − It is F1 team area where the manager, engineers, and support staff keep close watch on their cars using small screens under a shelter.

Pits − An area of the track separated by a wall. Cars enter team’s pit garage for change of wheels, refuel the car, and set up other changes.

Pole position − Driver who recorded fastest time during qualifying session is awarded the first grid position on race day.

Steward − A high-ranked official appointed for races to make decisions.

Tire warmer − An electronic blanket is wrapped around the tires before cars are positioned for race that keeps them at optimum temperatures before the start of the race.

Visor strip − The top edge of helmet needs extra protection and it is provided with a visor strip made of Zylon that is a high-resistant carbon fiber material.

Constructor − Since 1981, FIA has passed a rule that respective F1 teams have to build their own engine and chassis of the car. The owner of the engine and chassis is called the constructor.

Circuit − Formula One circuits are tracks specifically and purposefully built for conducting races. F1 circuits are of two types − Street Circuit and Road Circuit.