In Formula 1 a blue flag is waved to show the driver behind you is going faster, if you are a lapped car you should shuffle across to the side to let him pass. Personally I don’t like this rule, but it must have some merits surely? Let’s have a look.
To me it’s another one of those rules that makes racing artificial. Everyone is racing for position even if they’ve been lapped, the few seconds they lose to let the driver behind them pass could cost them a position.
This is the only reason why I dislike the rule so much. If the driver behind is talented enough he will get past regardless.
Something I noticed a lot throughout the 2011 season was that if there were three or four faster cars who were about to lap a slower car the first driver would lose time because the lapped car hadn’t really noticed he was about to be lapped.
Once he’d let the first car through it was easier for the cars behind to follow him without losing out on too much time.
This meant the driver at the front would be losing time, so the drivers behind him could catch him up as they could pass the lapped car with ease. I feel like this is a pretty unfair advantage.
If they all had to fight the lapped car for position perhaps they wouldn’t have such an unfair advantage. However then I suppose you run the risk of safety issues with all the cars being bunched up so close together.
I guess it could also make racing a bit of a procession.
This year we’ve seen the blue flag rule being flaunted a fair amount; a prime example being Pastor Maldonado who ignored blue flags twice in Abu Dhabi, the first time he received a drive through penalty, the second time he was awarded a pointless 30 second penalty after the race which didn’t affect his position.
I say good on him to be honest, however if we’re going to penalise for ignoring the blue flag shouldn’t there be harsher consequences? That’s a rant for another time though.
One blue flag related incident this year really wound me up. Jaime Alguersuari held Sebastian Vettel up during a practice session in Korea. Helmut Marko was pretty unhappy about this. Many suspect this is why Alguersuari is no longer in the Red Bull family.
I don’t see the harm, it was during practice, they’re all trying to put the best times in they can. You can see the video here: Marko vs. Alguersuari, make your own mind up.
I can understand the reason for the blue flag rule in the sense that all the cars aren’t bunched up but it’s not quite racing.
I still don’t like it. What’s your take on the blue flag rule? Love it or loathe it?