Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, Sepang International Circuit, 2016

Drivers to get extra blue flag warning

2016 United States Grand Prix

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An additional warning will be given to a car which is about to be lapped by a rival following complaints from some drivers during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Formula One’s marshalling system will now be used to let drivers know when a car which is a lap ahead is within three seconds of them. When that gap falls to one second they will begin to receive blue flag warnings.

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Circuit of the Americas, 2016
United States GP qualifying in pictures
The FIA issued the following note to teams ahead of the United States Grand Prix:

“Article 27.9 of the Sporting Regulations requires drivers who are caught by another car about to lap him to allow the faster driver past at the first available opportunity. The F1 Marshalling System has been developed in order to ensure that the point at which a driver is shown blue flags is consistent, rather than trusting the ability of marshals to identify situations that require blue flags. Whilst this has been largely successful the way in which teams and drivers use the system seems to have become inconsistent.”

“From now onwards the system will be set to give a pre-warning when the faster car is within 3.0s of the car about to be lapped, this should be used by the team of the slower car to warn their driver he is soon going to be lapped and that allowing the faster car through should be considered a priority. When the faster car is within 1.0s of the car about to be lapped blue flags will be shown to the slower car (in addition to blue cockpit lights and a message on the timing monitors) and the driver must allow the following driver to overtake at the first available opportunity.”

“It should be noted that the aim of using F1MS is ensure consistent application of the rules, additional instructions may also be given by race control when necessary.”

2016 United States Grand Prix

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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...

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  • 12 comments on “Drivers to get extra blue flag warning”

    1. That’s more like it. I hate it when drivers complain of this, especially when they are in a battle.

      1. +1

        Fewer complaints, and more importantly, hopefully reduced impact to race outcome 👍

      2. Do we think the complaints will stop?

    2. In tomorrow’s entirely unrelated news:
      – Radio traffic in the US GP race reduced by 50%
      – Ferrari radio traffic down by 80%
      – The job of the FOM censor is now deemed redundant

    3. I really do miss Formula 1 from 2008 and later. Way too many rules and regulations these days. When I started watching F1 in 2002, blue flags meant blue flags. I don’t remember many drivers ignoring blue flags and such.

      1. I don’t think there’s been any significant change in the blue flag rules in that time; the main difference seems to be how much drivers are complaining about it.

        1. Do you think that’s related to the quantity of radio content we hear?

        2. Yes, you’re right about that. And I also think like has stated it probably has to do a lot with what we hear on the radios as well.

          1. Like Mike has stated* sorry.

      2. When i started watching F1 there wasn’t any blue flags i think they should remove the flags it’s the same for every driver. If you want to pass just overtake.

    4. The people most likely to not obey blue flags will have the pre-warning on almost permanently, so it’s just going to get tuned out, leading everyone back to square one.

    5. The blue flag rules really do need to be looked at because while the focus always tends to be on the leaders, The blue flag rules as they are have a far greater negative affect on the driver been lapped.

      They back off there tyres lose temperature, They move offline they pick up marbles which causes them to have to drive even slower which causes the tyres to lose temperature even faster. With lower temperatures the tyres fall outside the operating window & start to grain/degrade at a faster rate which then affects not only there performance then but also there performance & strategy going forward which by the end of the race could be the difference between scoring a point or finishing several places back.

    Comments are closed.