Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monza, 2019

F1 restores traditional chequered flag signal after light panel error at Suzuka

2020 F1 season

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Formula 1 will revert to using the chequered flag to officially signal the end of races in 2020 following the problem it encountered with its replacement electronic light panel earlier this year.

While the chequered flag has been waved at the end of races this year, a chequered light panel has also been used to officially signal the end of races. However this was shown a lap too early in error during the Japanese Grand Prix, and the race was cut short as a result.

The FIA has announced the traditional chequered flag will be the end-of-race signal again from next season as part of a package of changes agreed by the World Motor Sport Council.

Other changes to the technical and sporting regulations for the 2020 F1 season will include new wording “relating to the sampling and testing of fuel at the events to incorporate reference declarations”. This follows the controversy at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where Ferrari were found to have put almost five kilograms more fuel in Charles Leclerc’s car than they had declared.

The regulations will also be changed to “prevent teams from covering their cars during winter testing, in order to make these events more appealing to the media and fans”.

The FIA has appointed a single supplier of wheel rims for the 2021 F1 season. BBS won the tender to supply the 18-inch rims which will be used after next year. “A consultation phase with the teams and BBS was conducted under the arbitration of the FIA Technical Department, with some resultant minor changes to the initial specification being approved today,” the FIA stated.

Two other parts suppliers were officially confirmed. Magnetti Marelli will produce fuel primer pumps and Bosch will supply high pressure fuel pumps and piping. This also follows a period of consultation between the suppliers, the teams and power unit manufacturers.

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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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11 comments on “F1 restores traditional chequered flag signal after light panel error at Suzuka”

  1. Disappointing as I was hoping there was a race where the server crashed and the race kept going on forever because they couldn’t get the signal to work.

  2. Bespoke spokes no more…thus the slippery slide to single supplier spec series sets off.

    1. @jimmi-cynic well, considering the new cars will have covered wheels (iirc), makes sense to make all rims come from the same manufacturer. We’ll not see the spokes anyway.

      1. @fer-no65: oh good point… hope the FIA grants the freedom for teams to design their own spinners.

      2. Indeed, good point there @fer-no65!

  3. Chequered Flag – YES!

    Spec fuel lines – mm, guess it will result in like 100$ savings a year, totally “worth it”.

    Spec Rims – yay, another $50 dollars of savings!

    1. I think that apart from the saving you mention, the far bigger savings are in the fact that the FIA doesn’t have to check/inspect the fuel systems as much anymore @dallein. Also, it means that these systems won’t be changed during the season anymore, another factor that causes costs to rise.

      More or less the same with the rims – it takes away the scope to try and do something clever with the wheels.

    2. I see what you mean and I know you are exaggerating to make a point. But I think you are only considering the actual part cost and neglecting the insane amount of man-hours that teams put into development, that is where the big costs are. That being said, teams will always spend the same. Restricting them from spending it somewhere will only make them spend more somewhere else.

  4. As a wise man once said, there is no school like the old school.

  5. What concerns me is the thinking that was behind ditching the chequered flag. The chequered flag is one of the most iconic elements in motorsports! I’m a technology fan but the great thing about racing is that it’s all about new developments AND traditions!

    Ditching iconic traditions in F1 is a fatal move, whether it’s the tracks or the chequered flag.


      This is an eg. of how it used to be done. Jackey Ickx 1970 Canadian GP.
      Strange though, The official usually wore a kilt at the races. John Gillanders I believe.

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