The start-finish straight (also called the pit straight ) is the section of a race track where the beginning and the end are located. The beginning is marked by the start line. Often the end is in the same place as the start, but there may also be a finish line with its own marker in front of the start line, such as at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
The start-finish straight is also where the markings for the starting positions are located. The race is usually started from the start-finish straight, e.g. by a standing start. For this type of start, which is the most common in Europe and Formula 1, a special traffic light system is installed above the straight. The start-finish straight is not always a straight line, for example the Circuit de Monaco only has one long stretched curve where the races start and end.
In most cases, the pit lane is located directly next to the start-finish straight, as well as its exit and, more rarely, its entrance. Some circuits have several start-finish straights, such as the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps or the Bahrain International Circuit, which is located in the middle of the Bahrain desert and whose second pit lane is the private facility of the royal family. The start-finish straight is often also the longest and fastest straight of a race track, e.g. up to 369 km/h have been reached on it at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Formula 1 races.
Not always used, but important is the Red Flag Line, the line behind which you have to stop after a break.
At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the US Grand Prix was held, you can still find a small strip of the original pavement after the finish line.