Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Suspending and resuming a race

If a race is suspended because of an accident or poor track conditions then red flags will be shown around the circuit. When this happens, the pit exit will be closed and all cars on track must proceed slowly to the red flag line without overtaking and then stop in staggered formation with the leading car at the front. Any driver pitting after the red flag signal will be given a drive-through penalty.

The safety car will then be driven to the front of the queue. While the race is suspended team members may come onto the track to work on the cars, but refuelling is not allowed.

Cars that were already in the pits when the red flag signal was given may be worked on there, with refuelling permitted. These cars, and any that enter the pits while the race is suspended, may only rejoin the track once the race has been resumed.

At least a ten minute warning will be given before the race is resumed behind the safety car, which will lead the field for one lap before pulling into the pits. As usual, overtaking behind the safety car is forbidden.

Before the safety car returns to the pits any lapped car between cars running on the lead lap must pass those cars and the safety car. It may then proceed around the track to take up position at the back of the line of frontrunning cars.

If for whatever reason it is impossible to resume the race, the rules state that “the results will be taken at the end of the penultimate lap before the lap during which the signal to suspend the race was given”.

Race control - Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 248 F1 follows the Safety Car. Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Race, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 27 August 2006. World © Capilitan/Sutton Flags - Mark Webber (AUS) Jaguar brought out the red flags during practice. Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice, Monte Carlo, 20 May 2004. World © McNeil/Sutton