Formula one racing flags.

Are you a fresh man in the F1 race course? Or maybe you have been in this game for a while and you have never understood the logic behind the flags waved in different points of the course? This write up is there to lighten you about all these flags. Racing flags have customary been used in auto races or any other Motorsports as a way of indicating the track condition and to pass on essential messages to the drivers. Standard flags are issued to the starters also referred to as Marshals who are positioned at different points around the circuit. These points are so strategic so that the drivers can have a glimpse of the flag as he or she pass by. To enhance this visibility the driver’s cockpit is fitted with a special display referred to as a GPS Marshalling System which reflects every relevant flag color as the driver is passing along. This enhances the message delivery despite the high speeds.

To start with, this is a summary of the commonly used flags in the formula one race for effective F1 race control.

This means end of hazard, start or restart Start/restart


This is a full-course caution (when displaced using “SC”) or local caution or full-course caution


Depicts debris/slippery/oil course


 Not used or depicts that Pit lane closed


Means Stop


Means that this is a Final lap


Return to pits (disqualification) or depicts some Penalty of some form


Car has a risky mechanical setback and must return to its pit


Unsportsmanlike conduct


Means that a faster car is approaching and that the car being lapped to move off the racing course to allow the faster car to pass, otherwise it will face a penalty



Now let’s look into details what some of the flags means.

A green flag- This is displayed by the marshal to indicate the beginning of a session. It can be displayed during a session to indicate that a caution period or any temporary delay has come to an end and that the session is restarting. It may also used to show that the pits are open at the entrance.

A red flag- This means stop! It’s displayed when the conditions in the track are too dangerous for the session to carry on. The cars may be directed to either stop on a specific spot or proceed to pit road. These hazards may include water, debris or a car on fire among others.

A yellow flag- This literally signals caution. When a solid yellow flag is displayed, it alerts the drivers to slow down due to some sort of hazard identified on the track. However, there are diverse procedures used to exhibit the yellow flag depending on the race style and the sanctioning body involved. Example, waving the flag once, denotes a hazard on the track and if two flags are waved at the same time, this shows that the hazard has fully or partly blocked the path and that driver should get ready to stop if needed.

A white flag- this warns the driver that a slow moving vehicle is on the track.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>