Verstappen calls for blue flag talks

2016 Japanese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Max Verstappen has called for a discussion on the rules governing blue flags following Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

2016 Japanese Grand Prix in pictures
The Red Bull driver was one of several to complain during the race that lapped drivers were not moving out of the way quickly enough after being shown blue flags.

“I had some concerns about the blue flags,” said Verstappen, “I think we need to talk about it.”

“I have been in the same situation last year and earlier this year, I understand from their [back-markers] perspective you want to race but the guys lapping you are racing for a podium so you have to have a different approach.”

Both Ferrari drivers also complained at length about the difficulty of lapping drivers. Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said the slower cars had cost Sebastian Vettel third position to Lewis Hamilton.

Drivers’ complaints about blue flags at Suzuka

Lap* Driver Message
30 From Sebastian Vettel Blue flag, honestly. It’s ridiculous, I mean, it’s ridiculous. Honestly. Lost a second. For nothing. For [censored by FOM] sake.
31 From Sebastian Vettel Blue flag, make that Sauber go. Make him go! For pity’s sake make him go. I mean, what do you want to know? Suzuka is a quick track, it’s difficult to pass, you lose behind another car. I mean, it’s ridiculus.
31 To Sebastian Vettel

Copy that Sebastian. Keep your head down, it’s a long race.
41 To Max Verstappen

We are working on this blue flag situation, mate.
41 From Max Verstappen Yeah, it’s a joke.
41 To Max Verstappen

42 From Sebastian Vettel Blue flag, I mean it can’t be true, can it?
42 To Kimi Raikkonen

OK so gap to Ricciardo now 11.6 seconds. His last lap in free air was…
42 From Kimi Raikkonen OK but I’m losing so much lap time to [censored by FOM] lapped cars.
42 To Kimi Raikkonen

43 From Max Verstappen When did they stop giving the blue flags? They are not listening.
43 To Sebastian Vettel

Verstappen’s lap times 7.1…
43 From Sebastian Vettel Blue flags. I get them always up the hill. Can’t be true.
45 To Max Verstappen

Tyre temps are looking a little bit cold now Max having lost a bit of pace through the blue flags. So start to pick up your pace a bit, that will improve the grip.
45 From Max Verstappen I’m trying.
46 From Kimi Raikkonen Come on, move out of the way. They are seriously slowing me down, the lapped cars.
46 To Kimi Raikkonen

Understood Kimi unfortunately there are four or five of them I’m afraid.
46 From Kimi Raikkonen Yeah when the first one doesn’t pull out of the way it doesn’t help.
46 To Kimi Raikkonen

46 From Kimi Raikkonen Come on I’ve been more than half a lap behind them.
46 To Kimi Raikkonen

We’re on it.
46 To Kimi Raikkonen

OK we’ve spoken to Charlie, he’s on the case.
46 From Kimi Raikkonen Yeah I mean one lap it took [censored by FOM] one lap to let me past.
49 From Sebastian Vettel Blue flag.
49 To Sebastian Vettel

Copy that, he has blue flag.
49 From Sebastian Vettel Yeah but he doesn’t move. Make him move! [Censored by FOM] sake.
50 From Kimi Raikkonen Come on ask him to move over. Everybody takes one lap, it’s ridiculous.
50 From Kimi Raikkonen Come on give him a penalty then. It’s a joke now.
50 To Kimi Raikkonen

Charlie is on it. Charlie is on the case.
50 From Kimi Raikkonen Come on it’s two laps now. If this is not a penalise [unclear].
50 To Fernando Alonso

We need to let Raikkonen past. Behind him close behind is Sainz and Jenson on 11-lap-old options.
50 From Kimi Raikkonen Finally they let us past, it only took two laps.
50 To Kimi Raikkonen

Let’s get back in the rhythm. Hopefully Ericsson’s a bit easier. Remember Ricciardo’s got to go through all this as well.
43 From Sebastian Vettel Blue flag, come on, blue flag.

*Refers to lap message was broadcast by FOM

2016 Japanese Grand Prix

    Browse all Japanese Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    86 comments on “Verstappen calls for blue flag talks”

    1. “The guys lapping you are racing for a podium so you have to have a different approach.”

      It’s like saying that rich guys should be allowed to use bus lanes because they are in a hurry to earn millions, while the others can surely wait to get to their miserable workplace. The only thing that should be considered in these talks is getting rid of the blue flags altogether.

      1. @girts I think someone suggested this yesterday and I like it in principle but I have one big reservation which I don’t think can be overcome.

        It would give a tremendous amount of power to the lapped guys and, more importantly, their teams, to influence the outcome of races. We’d end up with Jerez ’97 scenarios again, though it would arguably be worse now as there are fewer engine manufacturers supplying more teams.

        1. What if lapped cars are not allowed to block or defend against an overtake? Just hold a line, but leave the onus of passing to the leading car. Would that help avert your concern, Keith? @keithcollantine

          1. @phylyp I don’t think so: I suspect a backmarker could hold up a leading car for quite a while without needing to pull a defensive move. Certainly long enough to cost them several seconds. And as backmarkers would still be capable of costing the leaders a lot of time, they would be able to assist ‘allied’ teams, e.g. those from the same engine manufacturer as in the example above, by pulling out of the way.

            1. Cheers, Keith 👍

            2. knoxploration
              11th October 2016, 22:52

              Nail on the head.

              What you’ve just said is why customer teams shouldn’t have been allowed in the first place, and engine manufacturers (with the sole exception of those who are designing their engines in-house and not selling them to any third party) should be required to provide a supply to any team wishing to receive it, with a standard cost that is identical for all customers.

              The reason we need blue flags is because we have customer teams, and we have engine manufacturers who favor certain customers over others. We can’t get rid of them as long as the status quo remains.

        2. @keithcollantine That is a good point. Personally, I would still remove the blue flags and then penalise those drivers who misuse the new rule ie. when it can be proved by telemetry data that they select different racing lines or selectively lift off the throttle.

          Do you know how lapping works (or does not work) in other racing series that you follow? As far as I know, WEC does not have blue flags even though sometimes it is problematic e.g. when the LMP2 cars struggle to get by their GT Pro counterparts.

          1. That’s a 24 hour race with hugely different tyres!!

            Without flags thermal degrading Pirellis would be ruined by the time a lapped car is passed.

            Honestly I find it amazing that even long and short circuit Kart Racing has blue flags and has had for years without issue.

            The real problem is not the flags it’s the lack of discipline amongst a couple of drivers trying to make names for themselves.

            That and a failure by the FIA to do something about it.

          2. @girts, actually, that particular point has been a major bone of contention for a number of years – the LMP2 teams have been complaining that it is extremely difficult for them to pass the GT cars given that the GT cars are actually more powerful than the LMP2 cars (the ACO set a target power output of 450bhp under the current regulations for the LMP2 cars, whereas the GTE cars generally produce around 550-600bhp). The LMP2 teams have been asking the ACO to increase the power output of the engines ever since the current regulation package was introduced, and with little success – hence the difficulties that you can see there.

            The thing is, the ACO really doesn’t care about the LMP2 teams – their main focus is on the manufacturer LMP1 class, and they have no issues with passing other cars. The performance difference between the factory LMP1 cars and the rest of the field is extremely large – bear in mind that the factory cars have claimed peak power outputs north of 1,000bhp, or at least twice that of any other car in the field – so even the fastest LMP2 teams are normally about 10s per lap slower than the LMP1 front runners at a short track.

            The GT cars, meanwhile, can be closer to 20-30s per lap slower than the LMP1 cars, which often can drive straight past them quite easily – so although they frequently have to lap other cars, the difference in performance is such that they can usually drive straight round the outside of the GT cars, or even just wait for the slightest straight and power straight past them.

        3. @keithcollantine How about having a hybrid approach of only having blue flags on straights? Maybe only on DRS zones to be easier to control. This way if a leading car catches a backmarker in the middle of lap then tough luck, but as soon as they get to the straight the backmarker needs to give way same as it is today.

          Sure backmarkers would still be able to have some level of control on who he lets by but that’s only for less than a lap and their races wouldn’t be as compromised as they are now. Plus, if a leading car really needs to overtake an uncooperative backmarker than that’s a great opportunity to show why you deserve to be ahead.

      2. People keep saying ‘get rid of blue flags’ but it would be a complete nightmare with modern aero. Many combinations of tracks/tyres/engines can make even the slowest car simply impossible to pass without blue flags. Not to mention the various loyalties that would come into play as Keith says.

        It would wreck races all the time. What we need is a smaller field with fewer back markers, less aero (oh dear), plus more money for the small teams to speed them up and reduce the amount of lapping.

        1. Matthew Coyne
          11th October 2016, 15:49

          The current situation Wrecks races already, the midfield battles are always ruined when they get lapped and have to lose seconds to the person in front – this proposal wouldn’t ruin any races at all, it would test the skills of the leaders.

          It would stop the boring situations we have today where people can be 30 seconds ahead after 15 laps and we already know who is winning the race short of an anomaly such as Hamilton in Malaysia.

          If you have to actually overtake the lapped cars, suddenly you can be the fastest driver on the grid but if your overtaking skills are poor and the guy behind is better it opens up a whole new series of possibilities, Nico might take 5 laps to clear traffic that Lewis manages to clear in 2. Nico loses 10 seconds Lewis only loses 5 and so on.

          I agree that they should not be allow to actually defend the position especially as a Manor weaving to defend against a Mercedes could be plain dangerous with the speed difference between them, but it will make the entire situation far more exciting imo and will stop the many mid-field battles we see getting ruined because cars that are battling with each other loses tonnes of time letting the leaders lap them.

          1. I don’t see it. One leading car gets out of the pits before a midfield car, his close rival gets out behind the midfield car. Race over. That would be boring, like DC behind Bernoulli at Monaco, but all the time.

            It’s not about overtaking skills. The aero means loss of performance at 2s gap, then getting worse. It doesn’t matter how skilled they are if the physics says it’s impossible.

            Of course that same 2s means the lapped car loses 4s per lapping, so we can understand how they don’t like it. But binning blue flags would just mean that leading cars would very often not be able to get past.

            Not be able. Ever, to the end of the race or the stint. Anything else is just fond imagining.

            1. Matthew Coyne
              11th October 2016, 17:20

              No it isn’t?

              The only race your post could make sense is at Monaco.

              The only cars who are going to be lapping people on a regular basis are the very front runners, and we have seen those same cars come from the back of the grid to the front in a race so they can clearly overtake these slower cars and thats when those cars are defending their position, you are making the overtaking issue far bigger than it actually is.

            2. It takes them most of the race, and pitstops, to pass the midfielders. Hamilton did 2 laps behind Button in Sepang for example, and that’s with blues on a passing track. With 3 tyre compounds cars are all over the track these days, with difference pace. It’s a nice idea that they could do without blues, but it would be a disaster.

    2. I think the biggest current issue is that if 2 drivers are following a slower car it tends to hold up the first then let them both past at once.

      1. @glynh – yes, that is quite true. I remember the 2013 Japanese GP where Webber overtook Grosjean in part due to Grosjean disadvantageously catching a backmarker.

      2. @glynh
        Which is why Vettel complained that backmarkers cost him the chance to overtake Hamilton.
        Oh, wait …

        But you’re actually right. :)

    3. I think one of the problems here is that often blue flags appear way too early. Sometimes, a lapped car is maybe 200m in front of a front runner, but is already given a blue flag. Then, a normal reaction would be “I am racing, but the fast car behind is still a long away behind. I am not going to slow down, and lose 3-4 seconds just to let someone go.” And so, I guess they’re waiting when the driver behind comes right behind them. In the meantime, the driver behind loses one second, and gets frustrated at the radio.

      1. Completely agree. I often see blue lights flashing and wonder who on earth it’s for. It should be <1 second to initiate them or something

      2. @dan_the_mclaren_fan – your point is good, and highlights the need for two messages – one to inform and mentally prepare a backmarker that he’s about to be lapped, and the second to alert him that a leader is right on his tail.

        In the current system, blue flags are waved anytime between these two times, which can be inconsistent, and sometimes large, resulting in the situation you’ve described. There is a team dependency on the race engineer to decide when he passes the first message (preparing a backmarker about an approaching leader).

        Ideally, there should be a clear agreement that either different signalling driven by race control should send these two messages, or that the pitwall will prepare the driver, and blue flags will have him execute the action.

      3. Agreed, the race direction shows blue flags way too early, leading lapped cars to ignore them.

    4. I don’t see why the team can’t radio the driver and tell them to move over. They have the information available so barring a radio failure the driver should get an audio message to move over for the car behind. Simple.

      1. @velocityboy Teams are just as reluctant to get there drivers to move over as the drivers are & a lot of the more recent problems actually come from the tyres.

        In moving over they get on the marbles (Which there are a lot more of than there used to be due to the high-deg tyres) which cost’s them a lot of grip & takes a lap or more to clear off the tyres, Over that time of having to drive slower the tyres lose temperature which cost’s them more grip & takes another lap or more to get the temperatures back up & the side effect of all that is that in running the tyres outside the recommended operating range there opening them up to graining & faster rates of degredation.

        The secondary issue is that even if there are not many marbles in just lifting off & letting cars past you can lose a lot of tyre temperature if your having to do it regularly enough & that again cost’s you a ton of time & introduces the issues related to running the tyres outside there temperature range (Graining & increased degredation).

    5. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      11th October 2016, 13:47

      What they should sort out is this: allow more the teams to do more development! At least then, the slower teams may not be quite so slow anymore and meaning they are less likely to be lapped.
      Even so, I still really dislike blue flags. I think they are much more unfair to the drivers getting lapped than they are on the leaders a lot of the time. Drivers like Vettel and Verstappen seem complain even when the lapped drivers are actually trying their hardest to get out the way. I wish the leaders had more respect for them. Whenever Verstappen was lapped last year, he got in the way more than enough times. He should realise that they are just doing what he did. Some lapped drivers certainly could do a better job of getting out the way but I still don’t think they should have to compromise there own race hugely. Especially when they are having a battle against another driver fighting for the lower end of the points. I often think it should be something that the leaders should just have to put up with.
      One thing at least is that Vettel often admits afterwards that he complains a bit too much and he can’t always expect the lapped drivers to not hold him up in the slightest.

      1. @thegianthogweed Thing is, they only complain when the lapped car isn’t trying their hardest to let them through. You have respectful drivers such as Alonso and Button, who are smart in how they do it for their own races, yet have rarely, if ever had a complaint against them whereas you have people like Gutierrez only looking to concede the place at the last possible moment.

    6. A Modest Proposal – Push-to-Lap
      When a leader comes within 20 meters of a lapped car, for the lapped car immediately ahead, and any lapped cars ahead of that one by 20 meters, additional power from the MGU-H/MGU-K will be disabled for a period of 10 seconds, to facilitate passing by the leading car(s). This will be performed by the standardized ECUs in conjunction with GPS data. Blue lights on the lapped drivers’ instrumentation will indicate when this is in effect.

      Given the push (pun not intended) by certain drivers to increase social media integration, social media will be used to decide one lap (not in the first 10 or last 10 laps) where a particular car’s non-ICE power will be disabled for a duration of 20s. Fans can register at and cast their vote on before race start and nominate this “joker” lap for each driver.

      Why will this proposal succeed?
      – It is a needlessly complex rules and technology based solution that can be solved by simpler means – thereby meeting FIA’s first criteria of regulation-making
      – It is unfair to the spirit of racing – this is “rule 0” or the golden rule of FIA
      – It will annoy and enrage true racing fans – or maybe this is the golden rule of FIA

      Disclaimers: This is sarcasm. I’m stupid, but not that stupid to make an actual suggestion like this. Also, for all the deserved criticism that the FIA receive, they sometimes have the unenviable task of balancing out conflicting needs, which results in some people not being satisfied with the outcome.

      1. Actually, an immediate or gradual reduction of hybrid power once a driver has been blueflagged until the driver behind got by is not a bad idea. It gives the driver to be passed an incentive to let the driver behind through asap, but if it is not possible for whatever reason it is not the end of the world – a time penalty would be harsh in that case.
        Even if the driver is intending to prevent the pass of an adversary the power difference will make short of that.

        1. The problem is if they are being lapped in a really bad place where it isn’t practical to get out of the way at all, they would just get in the way even more.

          1. But they’d try to relieve themselves of the disadvantage as soon as possible.
            Both drivers then have an incentive to let the pass happen at the first real opportunity.

    7. So much talk and yet no one complained about Gutierrez! That’s a first!

    8. Stop moaning. I never saw anything bad enough that stewards had to look at it. Some parts of Suzuka are really bad places for letting others pass, and its not like the backmarkers can go on the grass to let them by. The frontrunners expect that as soon as they’re within 2-3 seconds, the slower guy will just disappear. It’s not possible here, and not possible on many circuits.

      Let’s only flag drivers when they are in DRS range (within one second). We have the technology to measure this very accurately. At that point, give the backmarker 30 seconds to provide an overtaking opportunity or gain a standard 5-second penalty.

    9. Judging from his radio transmissions this season, Seb should change his name to Swearbastian Vettel….

      1. @geemac – I’m a Seb supporter, but I groan audibly when he gets into his ‘blue flag’ mode.

        The poor FOM censor must be tapping away like a Morse operator when Ferrari radio transmissions are aired.

    10. 35 messages, of which 7 were not Ferrari. Just saying.

      1. @phylyp Perhaps these messages simply indicate that Ferrari drivers are frustrated with their relatively poor performance and do not really show that there are any problems with backmarkers? Ferrari have lost countless points this year because of bad strategy decisions and their speed is still nowhere near the top. While the drivers themselves are hard to blame for the team’s slump, this has not been Vettel’s best season either. The outlook for 2017? Ferrari are not exactly considered to be the championship favourites. The atmosphere within the team? Arrivabene’s recent comments about Vettel are probably a good indication of that. So I think that these radio rants might be just a way to vent the anger about other things.

        1. @girts – I agree, and that’s why I called that out. Like the boy who cried wolf, they’re at a point where a call for blue flags from either Ferrari is likely to be met with a “Ha, they’re at it again” instead of a fair assessment.

        2. Perhaps this indicates that FOM purposedly chooses Ferraris diver´s messages because they know people will debate it like here.

          EVERY driver swears on the radio.

    11. I understand it from both Vettel and Verstappen’s perspective, because I had the impression on Sunday both were impeded more than Hamilton (ie, they faced them in the narrow sections, Hamilton more on the straights) which helped Hamilton catch them. But that’s racing, that’s the rub of the green, that can be different at the next race. I agree that doing away with blue flags and letting them race is the way forward, because it would take away the element of faster drivers *expecting* slower drivers to move aside and being frustrated when they don’t. This way, they all have to fight.

      1. VES should get used to it, driving a RB pretty much guarantees that you will catch up with crappy cars exactly in the twistiest narrowest sector (since that is where the RB is comparatively much better), which are also the sections where it is almost impossible for the lapped car to move over without pretty much parking the car somewhere.

        1. Yeah, good point that.

    12. What if we get another scenario where Hamilton get’s held up like Vettel did in the opening race in COTA and Rosberg snatches victory from him. World will be too small for that kind of event.

      1. What if we get another scenario where Hamilton… got the blue flags.
        Put him in a Manor and he will get lots of them

      2. Well it’s pretty much Vettel who is constantly complaining about his need for blue flags in every race. Hamilton might flip a bird when he’s held up for half a lap, but that’s it.

    13. There are rules that give the driver being lapped a certain number of flags before they are penalised for ignoring them. If a driver pushes it to the limit but is within the letter of the rules then so be it.

      Just like when Verstappen makes a defensive move other drivers don’t like, when it’s on the limit of the rules, so be it.

      Occasions like Gutierrez in the Hungarian Grand Prix where he blindly ignores them and gets penalised are fine, if the driver being lapped moves within the required time though then that’s their right to push to the limit of the rules for their own advantage just as occasions when Hamilton, Vettel or Verstappen make harsh but fair moves.

      1. But there were plenty of driver discussions on the defending subject, so i have no problem with a discussion on the subject of blue flags. Why not talk about it together. I don’t think there is much to be done to be honest, it’s racing.

        1. @thetick

          True, I mean anything is open to discussion. But this topic I see being ultimately fruitless. A driver can’t be expected to dive out of the way on the first flag, it may not be safe or possible. So a degree of tolerance has to be in place just like there already is, and drivers will continue to use that tolerance for their own advantage.

    14. I actually think it’s nice that Verstappen brings it up. He is one of the younger, upcoming drivers and might be part of “his generation” having a different view on how to approach the blue flags / passing backmarkers thing.

      And it is also good, because it means he asks for a discussion on how the drivers should behave between themselves (exactly, something that clearly does affect him!). A good discussion for agreements on how to behave on track between the drivers, with the FIA (and possibly some of the stewards there too) could go some way to maybe find a better modus operandi.

      That said, the issue is really with how hard it is to pass, with Aero making it even harder and the tyres being fickly even more so (as @gt-racer mentions, if they find a place to go off line they pickup marbles, slowing them down even more. And if they slow down that again ends in them losing temperature etc.)

      1. @bascb So ban wings and let teams rely on ground effect….

        Or not?

        1. Not sure about that @davidnotcoulthard. Ground effect does have less issues with following, so that would be a positive. But I think it would be better to make for larger differences between cornering speeds and speed on the straight, because that makes for more slowing down, potentially giving more opportunity for moves under braking.

        2. @davidnotcoulthard, complaints about backmarkers holding up the leading cars were still common then, just less publicised since there was no means to publicly vent those frustrations during the race.

          @bascb, we effectively had that in the 1980’s during the previous turbo era (cars that tended to be quite quick on the straights but not so quick in the corners), but complaints about blocking were fairly frequent and some drivers were notoriously bad for it (Arnoux being particularly heavily criticised, especially by Hunt, who gave the rather memorable description of what he thought of Arnoux’s excuses for his poor performance on track).

    15. So only RAI VET and VES complaining. What about the rest? Dont they have the same problems with lapped cars or they just dont moan this much?

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        11th October 2016, 17:00

        @mijail They drive a Mercedes Benz. Those rockets can let both Nico and Lewis fall to last and still get a podium.

        1. As we saw already many times. I find it a joke when two top cars are able to do so,it really shows where rest of the field is and why we need open development and fixing an factory/customer teams not getting same units with maps and rest of the stuff.

          1. If you want identical performing cars, perhaps GP2 is an option? Although even there the budgets differences create speed differences with in essence identical machinery.

            1. @patrickl If (s)he doesn’t want a junior series Indycar shouldn’t be too bad, if one lives in the right timezone, at least (I don’t :( )

      2. There must be a secret, unwritten rule: make way for Ferrari. All part of their special deal with F1.

      3. @mijail, how can we tell what the other drivers say when their radio transmissions are not broadcast?

        Realistically, FOM know that a sizeable proportion of the audience are probably only really interested in the top three teams, so they will probably focus on just their radio transmissions (consider how infrequently messages are broadcast from, say, the drivers at Sauber or Manor compared to drivers at the big three teams).

        Now, when you look at the messages FOM tend to broadcast from Rosberg and Hamilton, they tend to be messages about the wider title battle – strategy messages, potential mechanical issues and so on – which leads me to assume that FOM has instructed the guys monitoring the radio conversations they have with their pit crews towards those aspects, since it gives a wider picture of the overall title battle. That would suggest to me that they are probably biasing their coverage of the complaints about blue flags towards Red Bull and Ferrari – so you have to question whether it is necessarily the case that those drivers complain more, or if it is a case of selection bias.

    16. I watched f1 for 20 years with backmarkers clogging up the track as they were allowed to hold the racing line, it was a nonsense and it had the ability to ruin races. On the other hand guys like Senna were quickly through whereas fussers like DC got stuck – so it did encourage ball s out drivers

      There is no issue with the current blue flag system except at narrow tracks like Suzuka. Surely they can put up with that with the reward that is racing round Suzuka.!!

      Too many whin gey drivers, too many whin gey fans. F1 needs to man up. 10 year old kids want to see all action heroes fighting their machinery into submission. Not finger clicking arrogance and finger tapping gear changes.

    17. Part of the problem here has been the number of points scoring positions. Back in 2002 only the top 6 scored points. This meant that only 8 or 9 at best were in the running to score any points, less than half of the 22 cars on the grid.
      Since then F1 has twice increased the number of points scoring positions to the state today where over half the grid will be challenging for a point.
      With the financial rewards on offer to the teams for their end of season result it’s no surprise that many drivers who are challenging for a points finish, but not the podium, maybe a little slow to observe blue flags.

    18. IMO: Blue flags should be shown on the steering wheel of the driver for whom it’s for at the exact moment it’s needed.

      1. @tychop They already have that system.

        If you look at the image I will post below there are 3 LED lights mounted vertically down each side of the top of the LCD screen, Those are linked to the flag system & display/flash Yellow, Red & Blue depending on which flag is been displayed.

        It also displays a flashing message on the LCD display.

    19. Just set a count down counter on the back markers display, starting when you are within 2 sec of becoming lapped. From there you have half a lap time to move over. Fail, automatic vsc for the car involved.

      1. For clarity, you want a vsc for 1 car while the other 21 cars run round at full speed?

    20. 1. Do I detect one 19 yo deftly changing the subject (read: usual suspect)?
      2. The culprits here seem to be marbles (Pirelli) and aerodynamics (LOTS OF MONEY). Lets get back the Lotus 29 (with halo of course) and all will be fine.

      1. Nah the BT46B should be OK.

      2. TonySpeed, you seem to be seriously confused there – the Lotus 29 was designed to race in the Indy 500…

    21. any car lapped by 5 or more cars and is driving past the 107% rule is to be taken out of the race.
      less traffic and better and more serious competition for the remaining contenders.

      1. But a car driving at exactly the 107% rule would be lapped by the leading car after 15 laps of the circuit, meaning they would have been lapped three times at Suzuka, but none of the cars were lapped 3 times. All the cars that started finished the race with the slowest car being only one lap behind, meaning it was well within the 107% time.

      2. ^ What @drycrust said.

        It is a very rare car that fails to meet the 107% rule. Although 107% sounds very small and stringent, even the Manor has no trouble coming in within this.
        – At Monza, the slowest car was still under the 107% time by 3 full seconds.
        – At Singapore, Vettel set a time a full 2 seconds under the 107% time with a broken LR suspension that meant he was only driving with 3 wheels.

        In the race, if a car has received damage that affects its speed significantly, the team end up retiring the car anyway (given the power unit restrictions they opt to save mileage).

        Also bear in mind that the 107% rule is based on qualifying time, which is faster than the fastest lap of a race.

    22. Very simple… Remove blue flag rules. The end.

      Let Nico Rosberg or whoever gets slowed down by traffic get slowed down first, and let second catch him, then we can have a fight for the lead.

      Imagine Monaco ;) unable to pass lapped traffic… and then Lewis and Riciardo get it on while behind guy they are trying to lap….

      As suggested, make a rule, lapped car must stay on the racing line… as in Le Mans. Faster cars tend to lap others quite easily.

      We will also see more overtakes.

      1. Nah @jureo, that would be unfair on Lewis. “Hey, why do all the lapped cars let Ricciardo through but not me?”

    23. Aero, aero, aero. It’s all about aero. Lapping backmarkers swiftly and safely used to be a key skill for top drivers. Senna was masterful at it (albeit maybe not perfect) no doubt partly due to reputation – backmarkers knew he’d come through come hell or high water, so they knew they’d better get out of the way!

      Blue flags were introduced because the aero effect became so bad that even the fastest cars couldn’t get close enough to get past.

      Us true fans want to see proper overtaking, not boring artificial DRS passes or anything similar. So if we want a Ferrari to be able to get past a Red Bull, for example, then it would follow that it would be able to get past a mere backmarker. Fix the aero situation and we’ll have much better racing and no need for blue flags. Backmarkers don’t normally have any interest in blocking front runners intentionally, as they’d only slow themselves down too, and most of these guys are fighting for their jobs. If a backmarker has enough of a grudge to slow a top driver down, well, maybe that’d just add an extra element of interest!

    24. How about, once you’re lapped, you pull into the pits and you’re out of the race.

      1. The poorer teams are already allowed to play in the ‘big kids’ sandbox. So when they come along – get out of the way! Or face penalty points / monitory discipline. A 5 second grid penalty means nothing to a back marker.

    25. Why not removing blue flags and let them race. It is the same for everyone, and one rule less to care about.
      We just have more overtaking. It may also happen that a front runner gets a tyre issue and leaves pits just before being lapped. Does he need to hand possition. This is stupid. Races will be more engaging and backmakers will have to race also. More difficult for the fron runners but who cares.. as long as it’s the same rule for all. Will even out a bit the filed.

      1. Well right until Manor gets order from Mercedes to let Mercedes pass and hold up RBR.. This is the only and only reason why would I be against removing blue flags.

        1. Good point but to some extent that may aswell happen now with the blue flags. On the other side, RBR, MB and Ferrari they all have secondary teams.. so it’s just going to be a tougher strategic challange. Theat leaves the midfielders to face more challange….nasty.

      2. Yeah and with current F1 when Merc or someone else get to CUSTOMER backmarker call from pits will be: are u sure u want those engines ever again or help with aero or something? I saw it many times in Red Bull winning years where Toro Rosso drivers were almost going off track or parking by the track to let them pass and i do remember well how they acted when Mclaren or Ferrari shows behind them. How about fixing an issue of one team having FOUR cars on track?

    26. ‘The guys lapping you are racing for a podium..” read that as : “I am more important that you.. so get out of my way.”
      It is bad enough that F1 has virtually no credibility left because of of its “DRS” ( different rules system ) where some drivers get penalties for minor offenses while another repeatedly breaks the sportsmanship code and NEVER get a penalty and now you suggest adding another level of discretion for the stewards . It will only be abused and will be used in favor of or against certain drivers just as the present rules are abused now.
      F1 has proved that even though it has great cars and great tracks it has horrible officials ,no back bone no consistency in the application of rules and thus little credibility.
      Some of the suggestions I have read are good and some are even very good but, none will ever work because F1 is committed to putting its thumb on the scale of every race so the less its officials are involved the better the race .
      If ever the governing body decides that the sport is more important than the entertainment opportunities ( in particular getting the disposable entertainment dollars of the young casual fans) then one or more of the discussed changes can be installed and be done so towards the betterment of the F 1 racing but, as it stands now adding to the power and ability of any F1 official’s ability to influence the outcome of a race or any part of it is as ridiculous as Verstappen complaining about another driver interfering with his ( Verstappen’s )attempt to overtake that driver.

    27. This, supposed, problem exists because there isn’t parity between the teams.
      That’s why they came up with the DRS farce to give overtaking cars an unearned advantage.
      I’m sorry, but that does not fit into the definition of “racing”.
      “I can’t pass” really means “I can’t pass when I want to”, so excuse me if I say “Boo, hoo.” to prima donnas like Max Verstappen and the other whiners that feel they are entitled to special treatment because they have better funded teams. Quit bitching and drive the car. If you can’t pass, that’s your fault because you ran out of talent.
      I guess the next episode of this never-ending bad joke will mandate the tires that the teams on the bottom half of the grid can use while the top half get a better choice.
      I side with those that want to get rid of blue flags.
      Start the race, leave the drivers alone and let the race pan out how it may. I’m sick of all of the artificiality that people think is necessary to favor the top teams when it also penalizes the lower teams, and if you can’t just let the people race then put front and rear nerf bars on the cars and make it a bump-to-pass class. Hey, F1 is pretty much a Demolition Derby half the time anyway.

    28. While many of the ideas mentioned here have merit. Still not going to be sufficient for Seb and possibly Max.

      So…I propose a special remote control option for Seb and Max. As soon as they come up behind a lapped car they can hit a secret switch to engage the pit speed limiter of the slow, thoughtless roadhog ahead. As soon as they blast past the sloth cars (which really shouldn’t even be in F1 anyhow), then they hit the switch again to disengage the lapped loser limiter. If they remember and aren’t distracted by making up so much ground they win every race. ;-)

      Funny how Seb is apoplectic about the blue flaggers in the race, but in post-race interviews says it’s not an issue, just part of racing and the same for everyone – in a Ferrari.

      1. I have a much simpler solution:

        if a leading car comes within say 2.5 sec. of a car that’s going to be lapped, the latter automatically gets blue flags and the pass has to be completed before the néxt sector has passed.

        If a lapped car has failed to do the above, he will receive a 10 sec. penalty, either added at his next pitstop or added to his total race time after the race.

        If the leading car comes on the radio to moan and bitch about blue flags despite the lapped car complying with the rules, the moaner gets a 45sec. penatly, either added at his next pitstop or added to his total race time after the race.

        Rules are clear and the same for everybody as are the consequences. No more moaning. (Cue Rihanna’s ‘Shut and Drive!)

    29. Almost everybody will start yelling at slower people when they are in a hurry.
      Natural reaction.

    30. What I find a bit strange is that there’s a clear rule on how many blue flags the slower (being lapped ) carbs allowed to go past before a penalty is applied yet not once in recent times has that rule been applied.
      Hand out a few drive throughs and things will change.

      It’s a bit like track limits – if the rules were applied studiously instead of randomly drivers would toe the line.

    31. I think it has less to do with the Blue flags and backmarkers and more to do with overall race distance. I fail to understand the need for almost 2 hours of racing. Cut the race distance by half and it’ll make it less boring, simply because lesser tire management, lesser fuel so faster cars, no/much lesser backmarkers issue, and everyone attacks all the time. Makes it simpler. Most will probably disagree, but I really think it’ll be fun if its shorter.

    Comments are closed.