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22 - 25 February 2021

From:  Race Director

To:        All Drivers


Document: Driver's Briefing



1. Matters arising from the Russian Grand Prix

  • Drivers allowing AI to control their car during the formation lap.
  • Incidents at the race start which resulted in multiple retirements and Safety Car.
  • Internet lag affecting other drivers which resulted in damage.
  • Entering the pit-lane unnecessarily slowly.
  • Coming straight across other drivers after overtaking on the approach to a Turn, offering no time to react.
  • All drivers are expected to improve driving standards for Round 4. There has been a substantial number of incidents that could have been avoided had better judgment been applied.
  • Stewards will be taking a harder line on repeat offenders of Regulation breaches and poor race craft.
  • After witnessing the race starts from the Russian Grand Prix, stewards will pay particular attention to the start of the Japanese Grand Prix driver conduct and awareness on the approach to Turns 1 and 2.


2. Changes to the circuit

  • The artificial grass on the right-hand side of Turn 15 has been removed and replaced by an FIA/FIM double kerb, along with improved drainage.


3. Qualifying

  • A short qualifying session (18 minutes) will determine the starting order for the Japanese Grand Prix.
  • The Realistic Performance Leagues (PS/Xbox) will not participate in qualifying this week. Their starting grid will be determined from a reversed order of the Round 3 race results.
  • No driver is to drive unnecessarily slowly during "in or out" laps throughout qualifying, and must proceed at a safe and reasonable pace.
  • Drivers on an "in or out" lap must not block or impede drivers on a qualifying lap, they must stay off the racing line when practical and ensure they give themselves sufficient time to clear the corner when a faster driver is approaching.  
  • Drivers must ensure they leave themselves sufficient space on track when preparing for a qualifying lap.
  • Drivers who are on a qualifying lap are not required to yield track position to a faster driver approaching from behind.
  • All drivers must retire from the qualifying session while entering the pit-lane, or while in their garage. No driver is to retire while on track.
  • Drivers are not permitted to exit the pitlane at the end of the qualifying session unless they have sufficient time to complete their outlap without the need to cut sections of the track to make it to the start/finish line to begin a qualifying lap. Drivers who leave the pitlane with insufficient time remaining in the session will be investigated by the stewards; particularly if you affect drivers on a qualifying lap.
  • For guidelines on safe retirement, refer to section 9.


4. Tyre Allocation & Mandatory Race Tyres

  • The following tyre compounds will be used for the Russian Grand Prix.




  • Drivers must use a minimum of one set of the designated mandatory tyre compounds.
  • Drivers must use two of the three available dry tyre compounds during the race event.
  • If weather conditions require a driver to use a wet tyre compound, then they are not required to use two different dry tyre compounds during the race event.


5. Race Event

  • The race will consist of 27 laps.
  • The race will commence after a Formation Lap.
  • Drivers will be required to complete a minimum of one mandatory pit-stop, unless weather conditions require the use of the "wet weather" compounds then drivers are not required to complete a pit-stop.
  • Stewards will pay particular attention to driving standards, track limits, returning to the race track and pit-entry and exit.
  • Drivers must complete 90% race distance to be classified in the race results.
  • For guidelines on safe retirement, refer to section 9.


6. Lines/Bollards at Pit Entry & Pit Exit

  • Drivers must adhere to track limits at all times, particularly on pit-entry and exit.
  • Drivers must keep to the right of the solid white line at the pit exit when leaving the pits and entering the circuit. No part of any car leaving the pits may cross this line.
  • Drivers must keep to the right of the bollard at pit-entry for safety reasons and may not rejoin the circuit once committed to entering the pit-lane.
  • When entering the pit-lane, drivers must adhere to the appropriate pit-entry and not use the access road prior to Turn 17 on the right side of the circuit.
  • Except in the cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the Stewards), the crossing by any part of the car, in any direction, of the grass verge between the pit entry and the track, by a driver who, in the opinion of the Stewards, had committed to entering the pit lane is prohibited.
  • The dotted white line across the pit exit is the track edge.


7. Track Limits

  • Drivers are to adhere to the track limits at all times.
  • The circuit offers little in the form of "run off" areas, however the stewards will pay attention to drivers returning to track between Turns 1 and 2; Turns 13 and 14; Turn 15 and the run-off area at Turn 16.
  • Drivers who leave the circuit between Turns and 6 are advised against returning to track straight-away. Drivers are advised to ensure they have enough time to return to the circuit and return to race pace due to having reduced traction having been in the grass sections.
  • Drivers are required to return to the circuit in accordance with Regulation RETURNING TO TRACK.
  • Drivers who require to take avoiding action at Turn 16 are permitted to use the escape road on the left side of the circuit. But the must lift off, negating any advantage gained which may require yielding a position to another driver.
  • Drivers who are found to have gained an advantage by leaving the track will be investigated by the stewards after the race.


8. Lapping During the Race

  • Drivers who are caught by another car about to lap them must allow the driver on the lead lap past at the first available opportunity, avoiding hindering or blocking the passing driver unnecessarily. Blue flags will be waved, signaling that a faster driver is approaching and is looking to overtake. Drivers who are a lap down (backmarkers) must yield position and allow the lead drivers to pass. 
  • Drivers who have unnecessarily hindered the leaders will receive a penalty from the stewards in accordance of Regulation


9. Retiring from Qualifying & Race Event

  • Drivers who wish to retire from the qualifying session or race event must do so according to Regulation 3.5.9.
  • Drivers are to proceed safely to the pit-lane, avoiding the racing line when possible.
  • Avoid hindering or blocking other drivers on track, or force them into avoiding action.
  • Ensure you have sufficient time and space to clear corner and apexes.
  • Drivers intending to retire may have to pull off to the side of the circuit if necessary, giving way to other drivers.
  • When crossing the pit-entry line, retire from the session.



F1 2020 season information

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