AskDefine | Define qualifying

Dictionary Definition

qualifying adj : referring to or qualifying another sentence element; "relative pronoun"; "relative clause"


1 the grammatical relation that exists when a word qualifies the meaning of the phrase [syn: modification, limiting]
2 success in satisfying a test or requirement; "his future depended on his passing that test"; "he got a pass in introductory chemistry" [syn: passing, pass] [ant: failing]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. present participle of qualify

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

The term "pole position" comes from the horse racing term where the number one starter starts on the inside next to the inside pole.
The term made its way, along with several other customs, to auto racing. In circuit motorsport, a driver has pole position when he or she starts a race at the front of the grid. Grid position is usually determined by a separate qualifying session where drivers try to set the fastest lap, or based on their position in the previous race(s).
Different motorsport series use different formats for determining which driver has the opportunity to start from pole position.

Formula One

Through the years, Formula One has used a number of different qualifying systems.
From the incorporation of the championship in to , there were two hour-long sessions, one on the Friday and the other on the Saturday, with the fastest lap from either session counting towards the grid.
From to , drivers were permitted twelve laps in a single one hour session on the Saturday. Cars that crossed the line before the end of the session were allowed to complete their laps, even if they completed their lap after the chequered flag was shown.
From to , the grid was determined by a single timed lap on Saturday, run using race fuel. This was used to counter the previous system's tendency to have sessions where there were no cars on track for the first 30 minutes, which was not good for TV viewers. In , starting order was determined using the aggregate of two one-lap qualifying sessions, but this was dropped within a few races, and the system returned to the single-lap system of 2004.
Since , Formula One has used a more complicated system. The hour-long qualifying is divided up into three fifteen minute sessions, separated by breaks for TV advertisements. In the first 15 minutes, all cars must set a time, with the slowest six cars being "knocked out" and take up the last three rows of the grid based on their fastest lap. The fastest 16 cars compete in the second fifteen minutes, after which another six are knocked out, taking up rows 6-8. The final ten cars then compete the last session using their race fuel, with "fuel credits" being given to the teams for each lap completed. This usually constitutes five minutes of "fuel burn" (where the cars circulate to burn off less fuel per lap than they receive in fuel credits, giving them a net gain in fuel at the start of the race) followed by frantic pitstops for new tyres and two runs at setting a fast time. In all sessions, cars which cross the line before the end of the session were allowed to complete their laps, even if they completed their lap after the chequered flag is shown. The final session was originally twenty minutes, but was shortened to fifteen to remove the boredom of the fuel burn. A similar small adjustment was made to sessions one and two, where originally laps had to be completed before the chequered flag was shown.
For 2008, Q1 has been lengthened to 20 minutes and Q3 shortened to 10 minutes. The drivers no longer get fuel credit back, therefore the fuel-burn phase has been eliminated.


Since 2006, one hour-long session on Saturday where the riders have unlimited number of laps to record a fast laptime.


The pole position is currently determined by a two-lap time trial (one lap on road courses). The fastest lap time is used. Before 2001, NASCAR used a two day qualifying format in its national series. Before 2002 only one lap was run on oval tracks except short tracks and restrictor plate tracks.

Indianapolis 500

Currently pole position is determined on the first day of the 4 days of qualifying. 4 laps are run by each car. The average speed is what determines the positions, including pole. A time set in an earlier session always starts above a faster time set later, although the fastest 33 times always start.
qualifying in Asturian: Pole position
qualifying in Bulgarian: Първа стартова позиция
qualifying in Catalan: Pole position
qualifying in Czech: Pole position
qualifying in German: Pole-Position
qualifying in Spanish: Pole position
qualifying in Basque: Pole position
qualifying in French: Pole position
qualifying in Galician: Pole position
qualifying in Italian: Pole position
qualifying in Hungarian: Pole pozíció
qualifying in Dutch: Poleposition
qualifying in Japanese: ポールポジション
qualifying in Norwegian: Pole position
qualifying in Polish: Pole position
qualifying in Portuguese: Pole position
qualifying in Slovenian: Najboljši štartni položaj
qualifying in Finnish: Paalupaikka
qualifying in Ukrainian: Поул-позишн
qualifying in Chinese: 头位

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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