Green and purple

In Formula One, commentators frequently refer to sector or lap times as being “green” or “purple”. There seems to be a little bit of confusion among some fans as to what those terms mean. So here it is:

A green sector or lap is a personal best in the session for the driver who records it. The first time a driver records a sector or lap time in any given session it will always be green.

A purple sector or lap is the fastest time for that sector or the whole lap of all drivers who have recorded times up to that point in a session. So, as an example, a purple lap in the race is the fastest lap of the race by any driver up to that point of the race.

The reason these terms exist is for purposes of live timing. The FIA has official timing that can be viewed by anyone at It shows sector and lap times as they are completed, as well as gaps between drivers, the number of laps completed and the number of pitstops. When a driver does a personal best sector or lap, the time is shown on the screen in green. When the sector or lap is fastest of all drivers, it is shown in purple.

Leave a comment below with any more questions about Formula One, and I’ll do my best to answer them.


4 thoughts on “Green and purple

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    1. Yellow is for a sector that is slower than the driver’s personal best. White shows the most recent data. For example, when a driver goes back into the pits, all of the sectors will go white.

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