The 2014 Formula One Australian Grand Prix is a race of 58 laps of the Albert Park circuit, a distance of 307.574 km.
Kimi Raikkonen won the 2013 Formula One Australian Grand Prix in one hour 30 minutes and three seconds.
Michael Schumacher set the Formula One Australian Grand Prix lap record in 2004 with a time of 1:24.125.
The first ten drivers across the finish line in the 2014 Formula One Australian Grand Prix score points towards both the drivers’ and the constructors’ world championships. Points are awarded as follows:
Position Point 1st place - 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
Any driver who completes at least 90 per cent of the race distance receives an official classification.
Qualifying and Practice
At the 2014 Formula One Australian Grand Prix meeting there are two 90-minute practice sessions on Friday and a 60-minute practice session on Saturday, before qualifying.
Lasting an hour from start to finish, the three-stage qualifying session establishes the grid position for Sunday’s race.
All 22 cars compete in the 20-minute long Q1, at the end of which the six slowest cars are eliminated – these cars will fill the back rows of the grid. If any driver failed to record a time within 107 per cent of the fastest time set during that session, he will only take part in the race at the stewards’ discretion.
The remaining 16 cars compete in a 15-minute Q2, with the six slowest cars in that period not progressing to the final session.
Q3 is a ten car ten-minute shootout for the leading grid positions.
Pit stops are a vital element of Formula One racing. They are necessary for teams to replace tyres and repair damage to cars.
Pit stop strategy – including the timing of a stop, the speed of a stop, and the number of stops per race – is one of the most tactical aspects of Formula One racing and will often determine the outcome of a Grand Prix. With fractions of a second separating drivers on the track, pit crews have honed the rapid stop to a fine art, with a typical tyre change now taking less than three seconds.
Suspending a Race
Poor driving conditions or a serious accident on the track may see the race suspended. When this decision is made the safety car is deployed, red flags are waved, and all cars return to the grid.
When it is decided the race is safe to resume, drivers are given a ten-minute warning to prepare for racing. On resumption of the race the first lap is driven behind the safety car, with overtaking forbidden.
If it is impossible to resume the race, the result is taken at the end of the penultimate lap before the lap during which the signal to suspend the race was given.
No race may exceed four hours in length, regardless of suspensions.
Flags are used by marshals around the circuit to communicate the following messages to the drivers:Chequered flag
The iconic chequered flag is shown to the race winner and then to every car that crosses the line behind him to indicate the end of racing.Yellow flag
A single waved yellow flag warns drivers to slow down.
Two waved yellow flags at the same post means that drivers must slow down and be prepared to stop.Green flag
Green flags are waved once drivers have passed danger points.Red flag
The red flag is only waved in serious circumstances and indicates the session has been stopped.Blue flag
The blue flag is shown to slower cars when a leading car is approaching to lap them, to enable them to be overtaken safely.Yellow and red striped flag
If there is a slippery track surface the yellow and red striped flag is waved.Black with orange circle flag
Cars with mechanical difficulties will be shown a black flag with an orange circle, alongside their car number, instructing the driver to head straight to the pit lane.Half black, half white flag
A half black, half white flag is shown to a driver warned of unsporting behaviour.Black flag
The black flag – accompanied by the car number – usually means a driver has been disqualified from the race. The flag instructs the driver to head immediately to the pit lane.White flag
The white flag indicates there is a slow moving vehicle on track and for drivers to prepare to slow down.
The safety car is deployed to ensure safe track conditions during the Grand Prix weekend. If an accident or incident occurs that is not severe enough to warrant suspending the race, but which cannot be dealt with under yellow flags, then the safety car will be called on to the circuit to slow the cars down.
In exceptional circumstances, such as in extremely poor weather, a race may begin behind the safety car.
The pit lane at every circuit is divided into two lanes: the lane closest to the pit wall is known as the ‘fast lane’, and the lane closest to the garages is the ‘inner lane’.
The FIA allocates garages and an area in the ‘inner lane’ where each team may work, and a pit box for conducting pit stops.
The 2014 Formula One Australian Grand Prix has a pit-lane speed limit of 60km/h.
Each car in a team must have the same livery, distinguished by the driver’s number, the driver’s name, and a different coloured onboard camera (on the first car it must be black and on the second it must be yellow).
Each car must conform to the competition’s technical and safety regulations, for example, cars must weigh a minimum of 690kg. To ensure teams are complying, each car is inspected and weighed during the Grand Prix weekend and will not be allowed to start without official approval.
Once the race is underway drivers are not allowed to change cars.
During the Grand Prix weekend, teams can only have two cars available for use at any one time. Spare cars are not permitted, though teams are able to construct a replacement car on site should one of the existing vehicles be damaged beyond repair during the event.
There are also restrictions on component use, for example, gearboxes have to be used for six consecutive events.
All teams at the 2014 Formula One Australian Grand Prix will use Pirelli tyres.
Teams are given two compounds of dry-weather tyre and unless conditions are wet, drivers must use both specifications during the race. The compounds are identified by the coloured markings on the tyre: super soft tyres have a red trim, soft tyres yellow, medium compound white and the hard specification orange.
Each driver has access to 12 sets of tyres during the Grand Prix weekend, which have to be rationed through practice, qualifying and race day. At the start of the race the cars that took part in the top-ten qualifying shootout must be fitted with the tyres used to set their qualifying time.
Drag Reduction System
The Drag Reduction System (DRS) is an overtaking aid that alters the angle of the rear wing flap, and it is strictly controlled.
Drivers can only use the DRS within designated zones during practice and qualifying, and may only activate it during racing when they are within one second of the car in front at the DRS detection point.
The Energy Recovery System (ERS) is a development for 2014 on the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) seen in Formula One since 2009.
The system works by harnessing waste energy created under braking and transforming it into electrical energy, providing additional power for up to 33 seconds per lap.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
The race director leads a team of seven officials who oversee the operation of the 2014 Formula One Australian Grand Prix. Included in this number is the clerk of the course who is responsible for the circuit’s many stewards and marshals.
Stewards can impose penalties on drivers for breaching regulations during the duration of the Grand Prix.
Most penalties are for racing offences, such as cutting a chicane, or speeding in the pit lane, but can include technical issues from practice or qualifying sessions.
The typical punishment for a racing offence is a drive-through penalty, whereby the driver loses time by being forced to enter the pits, drive through the pit lane at the pit-lane speed limit and rejoin the race without stopping.
The stop-go penalty, or the ten-second penalty, is enforced for more serious offences. When issued with this punishment the driver must not only enter the pits, but must also stop for ten seconds at his pit before rejoining the race.
Should an infringement not be punishable during the race, stewards are able to impose grid position penalties at the next Grand Prix. In serious cases they are able to hand down official reprimands and even suspensions.
So long as the change is made before the start of qualifying, teams may replace one or both drivers. However, over the course of a season each team is only allowed a maximum of four drivers.
During the Friday practice sessions teams may allow up to two additional drivers.
To compete in Formula One all drivers must have an FIA Super License.
Parc ferme (literally meaning ‘closed park’) refers to a secure space on the Grand Prix site in which teams leave their cars after qualifying so they can be scrutinised by race officials. Parc ferme is also used to represent the restrictive conditions cars are under from the start of qualifying to the start of the race itself. During this period only minor adjustments can be made to the cars, preventing teams form radically altering set-up between qualifying and the race.