Last update: 01/11/2023

VMRL rulebook

This thread contains all of the rules that apply to racing in the Virtual Motorsport Racing League. Our rules are in place to help enforce clean and fair racing in the league, and these must be respected and followed by all drivers.
The rules apply to everyone, no matter whether you have read them or not.
For returning drivers who have already read the rules, you may be excused however make sure you check out our Discord Server for any announced changes!

Furthermore, the regulations are founded upon the actual rules of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Gentlemen’s agreement, and some cases are also subject to assessment with these considerations in mind. It should be noted that the financial penalties outlined in the FIA regulations are not implemented.

1. Racing Rules

1.1 Clean racing

First of all, race cleanly at all times. No contact should occur between cars on track, and as a driver you are required to do your best to avoid this from happening. Accidents can happen, but if you are at fault for causing a collision, and this is reported to the Stewards, then you will be penalized.

Knowingly breaking the rules on aggressiveness and intentionally causing an accident or collision may result in disqualification from the championships.

1.2 On-track battling

Don’t be too aggressive when trying to overtake. In a battle, it is the responsibility of both drivers not to cause an accident, thus keeping the spirit of the race pure.

Do not force another car off the track by leaving it too little room on corner entry or exit. If the other car is alongside you when going into a corner (at the turn-in point), or when exiting a corner, you must adjust your line to avoid contact and to not force the other car off the track. A car is said to be “on your side” when the front axle of the attacking car hits the rear wheel of the defending car.

Any movement in the braking zone is not accepted when in close proximity to other cars, as the action can easily cause an incident. Choose a line before entering the braking zone, and hold that line until the turn-in point.

On straights, if another driver has any part of their car alongside your car, you must respect their position on the track and avoid making any movement into the other car.

Excessive weaving and blocking is not allowed. When defending from another car, choose a line on the track and stick to it (1 change of direction allowed).

Excessive weaving on straights with the purpose of breaking slipstream is not allowed, even if the car behind is not physically close enough to make an overtaking attempt. Weaving in this situation is deemed excessive if the car ahead makes more than two moves across the track on the same straight.

1.3 Track limits

Stay within the track boundaries with at least one tyre all the time. The track boundaries are defined by the white lines, NOT by the edge of the kerbs. The white lines are deemed part of the track, however the kerbs are not. Cutting corners, or extending the track, to gain an advantage is not allowed. Drivers found to be persistently breaking this rule will be penalized retrospectively.

If the defending car is able to keep its position by leaving the track or cutting the corner, it is obliged to give up its position.

If you overtake another driver with all four of your wheels off track, or as a consequence of cutting a corner, you must slow down and give the position back.

1.4 Qualifying etiquette

In qualifying, it is your own responsibility to find free space on the track when starting a hotlap. A car on a hotlap does not have to yield to a faster car approaching from behind. If you are on an in- or out-lap, however, you have to let faster cars pass you without blocking them.

In qualifying, it is not permitted to retire from the session while you are out on track, as this may cause your AI car to park on or next to the track so you must do so while in the garage.

In qualifying, it is not permitted to cut or miss sections of track at any time, including on in- and out-laps. Doing so to gain an advantage or to save time will be penalized.

1.5 Spatial Awareness

It’s important to be aware of where your fellow competitors are around you, and extra caution is vital.

If you spin off the track while other cars are close behind you, be sure to wait until it is safe to re-join before returning to the track.

If you spin and end up sideways or backwards on the track, stay still until any oncoming cars have gone past. It is far easier to avoid a stationary obstacle.

2. On-Track Regulations

2.1 In-game penalties

If you feel that the game has awarded you an unfair time penalty, you can apply for a penalty removal in the Protest channel in our Discord Server after the race. Compensation for unfair drive throughs or stop-go penalties will not be possible, as this affects your position on the track during the race.

2.2 Being lapped

When being lapped, it is your responsibility to let the leaders through safely at the earliest opportunity, without costing them any time.

If you are going faster than a car that has lapped you, do not attempt to unlap yourself unless it is safe to do so and doesn’t hinder the car in front.

2.3 Safety car & virtual safety car guidelines

As the leader of the pack following the safety car, do not intentionally slow the pack down to a dangerously low speed when controlling the pace ahead of a restart. This also applies to virtual safety car periods and driving unnecessarily slower than the delta and therefore backing up cars behind. Any driver found to be doing so will be penalized.

When restarting after a Safety Car, overtaking is forbidden until the game shows a green flag or you cross the finish line. Any driver who overtakes under the yellow flag will be penalized, if not by the game, then after the race.

After the exit of the Safety Car or after the VSC, during the restart, it is forbidden to enter the other car (A) in order to gain a better starting position for car B, otherwise the penalty for the offending car may be imposed as described in 5.3.

2.4 Tyre rules

Each driver is free to choose his starting tyre from the collection that he brought for the race.

You must use two of the three available dry tyre compounds at least once during the race.

2.5 Pit stops

When entering and exiting the pit lane, the entire car must remain within the white lines, otherwise you will be penalised, and you will also be penalised if you cause a dangerous situation by crossing the pit lane or gaining time or track position.

The pit area shall be visited at least once during each race by competitors for the use of two different compounds, unless weather conditions do not require it.

2.6 Pausing the game

We advise against intentionally pausing the game during safety car periods and when you are close ahead of another car during the race, as this will cause your car to slow down and may lead to surrounding cars taking avoiding action.

You are fully responsible for your car’s actions even while the game is paused and your car is ghosted. Any incidents or dangerous situations caused as a result of this will be penalized normally.

The “Reset to Track” function must not be used to quickly restore your car, unless your car has hit a bump. Failure to do so may result in a penalty.

2.7 Race Completion

DNF Drivers who complete less than 90% of the race distance will be classified as DNF (Did Not Finish) in the race results, and will score 0 points regardless of their final position.

Drivers who disconnect from the lobby and have their race finished by the AI are only classified for the laps that were completed under the driver’s own control, unless they are able to reconnect to the lobby and finish the race under manual control. Drivers who complete more than 90% of the race before accidentally crashing out or getting disconnected will be classified as a finisher.

DSQ  – Drivers who get disqualified from a race – whether that be due to an in-game penalty or post-race disqualification via the Stewards – will be classified as a DSQ (Disqualified) and moved below all other drivers in the results.

2.8 Red flag procedure

If during the tournament, bugs or errors in the game affect the course of the tournament, possibly disqualifying some players, or the safety car is not working properly on the course, the tournament management may stop the tournament with a red flag.
This information will be published by the race control to all participants on Discord’s “race-control” channel and will also be visible during the broadcast.

In this case, all players must immediately leave the player lobby where the race is taking place and wait for further instructions from the organiyers.
In all cases, the race control will take into account the order of the competitors who started the lap before the fault occurred, e.g. if the fault occurred on lap 22, the order of the grid after the restart will be calculated from the start of the lap before the fault occurred, i.e. lap 21.

This applies to all players on the track, in its surroundings or in the pits, except those who have been eliminated before the reference point, i.e. before the start of lap 21.

During the red flag break, competitors are not advised to take a longer break, as the organisers will make every effort to reproduce the previously marked reference point grid order as soon as possible. Once this has been successfully done, the race will restart as a 50% race, but with only the remaining laps to be completed. For example, if the total race distance is 40 laps, they will have to complete 19 laps from lap 21 onwards, and the race will end with the completion of the “imaginary 40th lap” in the new 50% race.

The race control will also inform the riders about the end of the race via the ” race-control” channel on Discord, as they did before.

If a red flag is displayed, competitors must always choose a different compound from the one selected at the start.

If race control notices the fault after the restart of the race, it will first ask the competitor, via the Discord channel ” race-control”, to drive to the pit lane for new tyres, within three laps of the request. However, failure to do so will result in a black flag of 25 seconds under paragraph 5.2, effective immediately, and the competitor will be required to leave the player lobby under paragraph 2.7.2, where rule 4.2 applies.

If a red flag is necessary, the tournament will continue to be scored in full unless “force majeure”, i.e. unavoidable external circumstances, cause other problems which prevent the restart or completion of the tournament.

2.9 Chequered flag

The end of the race will be announced by the race control after the red flag has been waved on the Discord channel ” race-control”, where all competitors will be mentioned, making it the personal responsibility of the competitors to be informed of the end of the race. It is therefore advisable to follow this channel during the races.

If the field is 90% complete and the race has to be abandoned, the race committee may decide not to restart the race and full points will be awarded accordingly.

2.10 Race restarting procedure

A tournament may be restarted if, in the first three rounds of the tournament, the lobby has been found to be faulty or the game has disqualified a competitor due to something.Also, if a mass casualty occurs where a significant number of people are eliminated, this option may still be used.

In this case, you have to go to the “『』lobby-restart” channel on Discord and press the green button to request a restart. A new channel will then open and become public for all participants. Here you can vote on whether to restart the competition by pressing the ✅ and ❌ buttons. 

However, once the lap counter reaches the 4th lap and/or 2/3 of the competitors have not voted, the request will be closed and the race will not be restarted.

However, if the vote is still successful, the race will be restarted by the race control according to the full qualification order, which will be communicated to the competitors via the ” race-control” channel.

A competitor who makes an unauthorised request for a restart of the race, other than due to a lobby error or a mass casualty, will be credited with 2 penalty points on his super licence and will be denied the use of the restart system for one race.

3. General Behavior

3.1 Communication

Please note that you should set your microphone to “Push to talk” mode if possible so others do not hear your communication with your teammate during the whole race.

To make your teamwork better and easier, we made specific voice and text channels for each team, so you can talk about your strategies and other stuff there.

3.2 Streams

As a driver you can’t watch or listen to the stream, because you can gain an advantage on unrealistic aspects with that, so watching the stream while racing is not allowed!
It applies to the situation, when you are going to the pit for new tires too.

You are exempt from this when you crash and you have to retire the car or you get eliminated from the race and can not participate in it anymore.

Those drivers who use race engineer during the races are allowed to share their screen, or the engineers can watch the stream instead of your POV, but no other people can join the lobby other than the drivers, commentators and FIA members. Engineers are allowed to watch other drivers’ stream, it is the streamer’s responsibility to hide any information that may give them an advantage.

3.3 Lobby etiquette

Only the Coordinator – or the lobby host after consulting with the Coordinator – will start the lobby, continue over to the race and start the race. So please, as a normal driver, do not press the button which initiates the timer. This is to ensure that all the drivers are present, and also that all necessary screenshots of the results can be taken.

4. Participation

4.1 Missing races

If you are unable to attend a race, you must to take contact with one of the organizers.

If a driver is persistently failing to turn up to races, if no change is possible, a driver may be placed on the reserve list instead of a full time seat.

Getting another driver to race under your name is prohibited and will result in serious punishment.

4.2 Quitting the race

We are strongly against deliberate retirements as we want all riders to make it to the end of the race, but we understand that there may be situations where the remaining time spent circling around would be unnecessary. If for any reason you do have to withdraw from a race, you must return to the pit lane and withdraw from the race there before pit lane operations begin (changing tires, loading into garage). This will avoid problems where slowing your BOT could cause others to be blocked or parked in a dangerous area, even causing a Safety Car.

You are fully responsible for your car’s actions even if you leave the session / retire the car. If your AI causes crashes or brings out a Safety Car, you will be given a reprimand. You have been warned.

4.3 Reserve drivers

4.3.1 Reserve driver selection process

Reserves may join the field during the season, but they must pre-qualify for the field as described in the Season Guide, which can be done as follows.
First, you must register on simboostr.com, where you can download the logger client after creating your user account and link it to the game as described in the software help. Then all your round data will be saved and you can analyse it in the web application.
You must complete the pre-qualification rounds in the Time Trial mode of the game and the organisers will count your best valid round as your registration time. It is important to have the Simboostr data logger running in the background while completing Time Trial rounds, as this is the only way your data will be saved. 

You will have 2 days to set the time after being informed.

As for the track, you will have the opportunity to set your best lap at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada.

As of 24 September, the target time is 1:09.121, to which you can benchmark yourself. The Simboostr telemetry analysis software will be a great help in breaking this record, so use it in good health!

Also, below you can read about the time trial mode settings you need to set to beat the lap time.
If you encounter any problems while using the logger client, feel free to contact the organizers or Simboostr developers on their Discord server!

Once the deadline has passed, the 107% rule will determine if you are eligible for the reserve rider role for the season.

Also, it’s important to know that only lap times that are present in Simboostr’s system will be accepted, so if you send us a screenshot, it will be ignored unless there really is no other solution due to other errors. But you should definitely try to set a time using Simbosotr’s client!

4.3.2 107% Rule explanation

If you don’t understand the meaning of the 107% rule, the following tutorial will give you a better understanding of this seemingly complicated but simple rule.
The rule was originally introduced in 1996, but was dropped from the rule book at the end of the 2002 season in real Formula 1.

From the second season onwards, anyone with a best pre-qualifying lap of more than 107% of the best qualifying lap, i.e. pole time, will not be allowed to race.

In practice, this means that if your best time on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is 1:09.121, you must run a time within 4.838 seconds of that to be eligible to take part in the season.

The 107% can be calculated using the equation below:

Best time/100=X

X*107=Maximum lap time you can achieve

69.121 seconds (1:09.121) / 100 = 0.69212 seconds

0.69121 seconds * 107 = 73.95947 seconds

Result:  73.95947 sec – 69.121 sec = 4.83847 sec

4.3.3 Team selection

The team selection will be made at the beginning of the season after the end of the pre-qualifying session, when the top 20 riders have the opportunity to choose their team, so the reserve riders will be asked in order of their best time by the organisers to choose who they would like to be reserve for which team.

Therefore, after the official reserve draft, there will be a list of those reserve riders who have applied after the deadline. They are no longer subject to the rule that they are placed in the team based on their time, so if they manage to run a top 5 time, they will still start at the end of the reserve chain.

So, when the 2-day time limit has passed and the time posted is within 107%, they will be eligible for team selection, but only to a team that does not have the maximum 4 riders. The organisers will inform the person concerned.

 4.3.4 Reserve driver limit

During the season, only a limited number of reserves will be allowed to participate in all teams, with a maximum of 2 reserves per team. This allows a total of 60 competitors to be included in the field during the season.

4.3.3 Participation in other teams
  • Reserves may only participate in two teams for justified reasons, however if a reserve requests this from the organizers, they will lose their joker card, which essentially determines them to the two teams they chose when they joined the season and after their individual selection. This means that there is no way for that reserve to participate in three teams.

4.4 Recording the competition

All competitors who enter VMRL races must record their race.
If this is not done, the FIA will not be able to make accurate decisions on protests and other incidents because there will be insufficient information.
If a competitor fails to send a link to the recording uploaded to YouTube or other platforms to the “race-recordings” channel within 2 days after the race until Tuesday 18:00 UTC+2 (6:00 pm UK time), the FIA will issue a warning to the competitor.
If three such warnings are accumulated, the competitor will receive a one-race ban, in whose place a reserve competitor may be installed in this case. And if the race recording is not shared in the subsequent case, the FIA may reward the driver with a season ban.

5. Rule Enforcement

We can’t possibly control all the actions of our drivers, but we have ways to penalize drivers who break the rules.

5.1 Protest Channel

The protest “Protest” channel can be used to report incidents and other rule violations at or during the tournament, providing useful evidence of the incidents.
In order to investigate the incident, an appropriate explanation and/or evidence of the incident must be provided and separate protest tickets must be opened for each incident.

The expected investigation time during the race will be a couple of minutes, so the stewards will try to make the decision as soon as possible, and after the race, it will normally be 2 days, provided that all recordings have been found by the supervisors and the status of the incident is clear. If not, the stewards will request the involved participants to provide additional details regarding the incident(s).

You can make protests for the following incidents:

On-track incidents: If you feel another driver has caused an incident – eg. hitting your car, forcing you off the track, rejoining the track unsafely, or generally driving too aggressively

Track limits: If you witness another driver is persistently gaining time by abusing the track limits.

Removing an unfair time penalty: If you receive a time penalty from the game, and you feel that it was unfair, you can make an enquiry for the penalty to be removed. When making an enquiry, you need to provide evidence of the penalty being applied. It can be a video footage or a picture of the post-race race director screen showing what the penalty was for and the time when it was applied. Any appeals without this will be dismissed.

Bear in mind that we will not be giving compensation for penalties that affect your position on the track during the race. This includes drive through penalties and extra time spent in the pit/box as a result of a stop-go penalty. A stop-go penalty not served in the pits, however, is converted into a time penalty and may therefore be removed if received unfairly.

Protest time limit
Protests may be lodged after the races, but only until 18:00 on the Monday after the race.

Appealing against FIA stewards’ verdict

You have the opportunity to file an appeal against the stewards’ decision until 15:00 on the day following the imposition of penalties by the Discord steward panel. However, once the FIA stewards have made their final decision on your case, you will have no further opportunity to appeal. 

5.2 Penalties

The Stewards have a variety of penalties that may be applied to punish drivers who break our racing rules, depending on the severity of the violation.
The Stewards are completely neutral and will not include anyone who may be affected by the incident in question.

5.3 Penalty points system

The penalty point system is a way to monitor how often and how severely riders break the rules, and to punish repeat offenders more severely.
Penalty points are applied in addition to normal competition penalties as listed below:

  • 5 second time penalty – Roll alongside another car on a Safety Car or VSC restart for a better starting position
  • 5 seconds time penalty – Crossing pit lane
  • 1 penalty point and/or 5 seconds time penalty – Obstructing another competitor in qualifying
  • 1 penalty point and/or 5-10 seconds time penalty – Continuous use of track limits
  • 1 penalty point – Using the “Reset to Track” function and thereby creating a dangerous situation
  • 1 penalty point and/or 5 seconds time penalty – Causing a minor avoidable collision
  • 1-2 penalty points and/or 10 seconds time penalty – Dangerous driving, unsportsmanlike conduct
  • 1 penalty point, 10 seconds time penalty – Overtaking during Safety Car phase
  • 2 demerit points, 10 seconds time penalty – Causing a Safety Car Phase by deliberate collision
  • 3 penalty points, 25 seconds time penalty (equivalent to Stop-and-Go) and/or disqualification – Intentional collision with another driver
  • 3 penalty points, Inviting unauthorized persons into the lobby is prohibited, this includes inviting friends and acquaintances who are not part of the official field of the competition, and therefore the penalty is this penalty.

In addition, drivers may also be given a so-called qualifying ban, which means that they can start the next race or races in the race itself, but cannot take part in qualifying, they must withdraw immediately when the game throws them onto the race track.

The above penalties will be added to your race time afterwards, or if you have caused an accident that has also caused you to crash out and may incur a time penalty, you will be given a time penalty for the next race.

If you accumulate 11 penalty points, you will receive a one-race ban.
Once you have served your ban, you can continue to race in the following races, but if you earn 2 more penalty points, you will receive a permanent ban from the season.

Also, if you accumulate 2 in-season bans, you will no longer be allowed to compete in our league.
Penalty points will expire at the beginning of the next season.
If we find that someone is completely against the rules and spirit of the league, then in addition to the above penalties, they may be banned directly from a race or even the entire season.

5.4 Judges’ decisions during competitions

In order to ensure that the rules are properly and fairly enforced during competitions, the organizers have set up a system of referees, similar to the real FIA, to enforce the proper conduct of competitions.

The penalty system in point 5.3 will be used by the referees in this way, which will be held in real time.

The fact of any penalty will be published by the race control on the channel ” race-control” where the competitor concerned will be identified, so it is his personal responsibility to be informed of the penalty. It is therefore advisable to follow this channel throughout the races, as this is where the race control will also share other relevant information with the competitors.