Grand Prix qualifying procedure
Today's qualifying procedure for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg takes place in three stages. Cars are scheduled to take the track at 3:40 p.m., initially split into two groups based on top times in the final practice. Each group has 10 minutes (including yellow-flag time) to set a lap, and the top six cars from each group advance. Those not advancing are placed in spots 13-22 on the grid for Sunday's race, with drivers from the first group occupying odd-numbered starting positions and the second group in even-numbered spots.
The 12 drivers who advance to the second stage run in another 10-minute session, again including caution flags, with the top six advancing to the final session. The six cars eliminated at this stage fill spots 7-12 on the grid.
The six fastest cars have one final 10-minute qualifying session to set the best time, which earns the pole. The second-best speed starts next to the pole-sitter on Row 1, and so on.
Will Power broke the St. Petersburg qualifying record last year with a lap of 106.767 mph around the 1.8-mile track in the final session, and also set the overall qualifying record in the previous session at 106.841 (1 minute, 0.6509 seconds).