Blue Flags

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    I am not sure if this topic has been posted before, I assume it would have but I could not find anything under the search. I’ll resurrect the discussion anyway.

    We have seen numerous occasions where drivers outside of the top 5 or 6, lose considerable amount of time (and sometimes their positions) when having to move out of the way of the leading cars. In various circumstances they have been expected to move at critical moments of their race. Recent events at Abu Dhabi and penalty for Senna and Maldonado have got me thinking about it. Senna and Maldonado give reasons for their actions here (see article below), and frankly I must say I agree with them:


    To be honest, during the race I thought that Senna dn Maldonado deserved at least one penalty for ignoring the Blue flag; however, I question if enough time was allowed for them to honour the blue flag rule? What do you think about the blue flags? Do you think it is fair that cars have to move out of the way whenever they are expected to, and why? What does that mean for their race? If leading cars expect everyone to move out of the way immediately, then what is the point of having 24 cars on the grid; why not just have top 8 or 10 qualifiers start the race? How can the Blue flag rule be improved, if at all?



    I’d have it scrapped.
    go back to the old days of navigating traffic, its all part of race craft.
    if they collide then so be it.



    Thw scene is Monaco, next season, blue flag rule has been removed. Filipe has front wing damaged in start line coming together. As in this season one S. Vettel has gone off into the distance, followed by Lewis and Fernado a few seconds apart. When Seb catches up with Filipe, there are no others within a couple of seconds, and Seb gets past at the chicane after the tunnel. A few laps later Lewis catches up with Filipe, but now Filipe is trying to pass a slower group of cars.

    Continue the story…….



    I think it is fine that they have to give up their race for a moment to let the lead driver pass.
    It is their own fault that they are getting lapped. They are slowing the lapping driver down enough as it is, so why shouldn’t they have to pay something for it as well?



    I completely agree with @ratboy . I think rules should be equal for everyone but the blue flags definitely favour the fast teams and put the slowest teams at a disadvantage as they lose a lot of time by getting out of the way and cannot concentrate on their own race.


    Keith Collantine

    We did a poll on this last year, most people were in favour of relaxing or completely scrapping the rule:




    I wonder how precisely are blue flags shown. Are they triggered (for example) when the driver who is about to lap them is under a second behind them? Sometimes marshals are showing blue flags when the leaders are barely visible in the mirrors and they must really get out of the way to let them pass.
    Scraping the blue flag rule would be bad, especially with the amount of b teams and “technical partnerships” on the grid at the moment. Imagine for example Torro Rosso letting Red Bull car through but then aggressively defending position against the other cars. And that is only the most obvious connection between the teams.
    Blue flag situations should be precisely defined – something along the lines of measuring the gap at measuring points (we already have at least 4 of those on every track) and if the gap is less then a second the slower car must let the faster car pass in next 3 turns.


    I like the blue flag rules. If you’re fast enough to be leading a race, why should you be punished for being so by having to make your way passed much slower traffic? If you’re slow enough to be lapped, why should you be allowed to hold up much faster opponents?

    Punish the back markers for being slow, not the leaders for being fast.



    I saw this video a few weeks back, a few examples prove why the ruling should be laxed.
    only 1-2 proving why the current rules states but with penalties for obvious un-sportsmanlike behaviour that can be eradicated.
    but most were great moves.
    Mika on Schumacher at Belgium? classic!



    Mika on Schumacher at Belgium is such an over-rated pass, I don’t understand peoples obsession with it! It was such an easy pass yet people talk about it as one of the all time greats!



    I don’t think blue flags should go, but the rules regarding blue flags should be relaxed.



    Thanks @keithcollantine , I wonder why I was not able to find the article even though I thoroughly searched for the two indicated words…

    There are many interesting views in that article and also here… But I must say I agree with @ratboy . Possible problems with that idea though:

    1. Monaco – very hard if not impossible to overtake. This could be improved if effectiveness of KERS and DRS was improved? (remove one artificial rule and make the other two stronger? ;) )…

    2. The part where “B” teams (as mentioned above by @gabal ) could potentially be used to block certain drivers and not others. The counter argument is that if teams really wanted to do this, they would have done it by now even with the current Blue Flag rules.

    I think the following comment was very interesting by @sojcarter :

    “Why not settle for a compromise that says that the backmarkers need not go off the racing line when a leader comes up behind them, but should they go for a passing move, they should go by unimpeded.”



    “Why not settle for a compromise that says that the backmarkers need not go off the racing line when a leader comes up behind them, but should they go for a passing move, they should go by unimpeded.”

    Hmm I would suggest that there are too many grey areas in that suggestion that could lead to inconsistent penalties.

    My suggestion would be that the tail ender has a complete lap to move out of the way as opposed to the current 3 flags, which would enable them to move over at their own convenience at a place which would cause them minimum losses without delaying the leader too long (but perhaps enough to bring a chasing car into play?) as well as giving them the chance to resolve an on track battle before having to give way.



    One question: if a lapped car is within one second of a car ahead which has lapped him, can he use DRS, as the opposite happens?



    @fixy I think he can and I think we saw an example of this in Abu Dhabi, here is what Hamilton said about Barrichello after the race:

    I lost seconds behind certain different people, and I think Rubens overtook me with the DRS; there was nothing I could do about that. I came up back alongside him thinking ‘dude, I’m in the lead, we’re not racing’. He came and congratulated me afterwards so that’s fine.

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