All About Flags Used in Formula One Racing
Formula One Racing Flags
Formula One Racing Flags – Spectators at Formula One racing events notice race marshals using flags to send messages to the drivers. The marshals positioned around the track, each have ten different flags. Today the flags serve an information source for spectators. Modern Formula One racing speeds make it difficult for drivers to be aware of the flags and react in a timely manner. Technological innovations now allow each Formula One racing cockpit to be equipped with a GPS marshalling system that displays the flag colour when the driver is passing the relevant track location.
Formula One racing flags follow a pattern. Many of the flags are common to most auto racing events and familiar to the general public. Others are specific to Formula One racing.
The black and white checkered flag is perhaps the best known of all racing flags. The checkered flag indicates the finish of a session or race. During qualifying and practice sessions the flag is waved when the allotted time has elapsed. At the end of a Formula, One racing event the checkered flag is waved first at the winner and then at all following cars so that they understand that the race has been completed.
The red flag is also used to indicate the end of a Formula One racing session. The waving of a red flag indicates that the session has ended early, generally as a result of poor track conditions or because of an accident.
The yellow and red striped flag informs drivers of adverse track conditions, such as oil or water on the track. It also may indicate debris on the track.
Marshals may wave either one or two solid yellow flags in Formula One racing. A single yellow flag warns drivers to slow down. Overtaking is not permitted. The yellow flag indicates a problem ahead, often a stranded car. Two yellow flags are waved at once to indicate an even greater danger ahead and that vehicle may be required to stop. A single yellow flag along with the SC sign indicates to drivers that the safety car will be entering the track.
When a slow-moving vehicle has entered the track in Formula One racing the marshals wave a white flag, indicating that a reduction in speed is necessary.
The green flag is waved as a message that the track has been cleared and the race may additionally resume full speed of the Car. In Formula One racing the blue flag serves as a caution sign to a driver that a quicker vehicle is coming near.
The driver is required to allow the faster car to pass. A driver that fails to allow the faster car to pass after passing three blue flags may be penalized.
A half black, half white flag is used in conjunction with a sign indicating a specific car number. Formula One racing uses this signal to inform a driver that his behaviour is unacceptable. If the behaviour continues the driver will be disqualified.
A solid black flag accompanied by a car number sign notifies a driver that he has been disqualified and must return to his pit within the next lap.
The final flag used by Formula One racing marshals is a black flag with an orange circle in the centre. This flag is waved to tell a driver that a vehicle mechanical problem has been detected. The driver must return the car to the pit.
Flags allow Formula One racing spectators to easily follow the flow of a Formula One racing event.