A F1 weekend consists of 2 x 1 1/2 practice sessions on Friday, a one-hour practice session on Saturday morning, and a one hour qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.
Qualifying lasts 1 hour. All the cars 22 take part, and can be on track at the same time. It is broken down into 3 parts (Q3, Q2, and Q1)
Q3. Lasts 20 minutes, after 20 minutes the slowest 6 cars are eliminated. They will fill the last 6 grid positions. The interesting thing here is once all 3 qualifying sessions have taken place, the fastest time is taken. Any driver who is not with 107% of this time is not allowed to start the race.
Q2. There is now a 7 minute break. The remaining 16 cars take part and will run for a further 15 minutes. After this period a further 6 cars will be eliminated and fill places 11-16 on the grid.
Q3. The remaining 10 cars now compete to decide pole position and the order of the remaining 10 places.
The cars line up in a staggered formation in 2 columns. This is critical to the race. It gives many trading opportunities.
Grid position can also be effected by some of the technical rules. If the rules were broken in the previous race. Either by a mechanical or technical advantage, or a dangerous piece of driving. Teams are only allowed to use a specified amount of engines and gearboxes. This is all relevant, but you don’t really need to know the complex rules. It is well reported any penalties are obvious.