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Suspending and resuming a race

The red flag is shown during practice.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 24 May 2008 The race is red flagged.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 12 June 2011 Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112 passes the red flag.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2012

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 grid without overtaking and then stop in staggered formation with the first car to arrive taking up pole position. 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. These cars can re-join the cars on the grid in the position they were in at the time of the race suspension.

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, unless a driver is delayed when leaving the grid, forcing others to pass. In this case, the delayed driver may repass those cars in order to regain his original position. If he fails to regain that position before the end of the lap, he must pit and rejoin the race once the field have passed the pit exit.

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”.

No race may exceed four hours in length, regardless of suspensions.