Know Your Flags
Flags are an important factor in Formula 1 racing. All drivers must be totally aware of the meaning of each flag. For spectators, a greater understanding of the flags will lead to a better understanding of the sport.
Probably the most recognized symbol in motor sports, the checkered flag is waved when the race (or practice session) is over. The flag is waved at the race winner and held stationary for those finishing in second place and below.
No driver wants to see this flag, for it is an order to return to the pits to be penalized (or disqualified) for violating the rules.
The blue flag tells the driver to move over, for a faster car is about to pass. The order is only given to a car that is one or more laps behind the faster car.
The yellow flag warns of a hazard ahead, usually a crashed or mechanically broken car. Drivers must use caution and be prepared to slow down. Drivers must hold their position, for overtaking under a yellow flag is prohibited.
The green flag is used in combination with the yellow flag. The green flag means that a yellow flag hazard has been cleared. Drivers are free to proceed to racing speed again.
The white flag means a slow-moving vehicle is on the track ahead. This may be an ambulance, a tow truck or even the Safety Car.
Black and Orange Flag
The black flag with the orange circle indicates that a driver must go to the pits immediately. It is used when race officials believe there is a mechanical problem with the car that needs to be checked before the driver can continue in the race.
The red flag is displayed when a race has been stopped ④ahead of schedule. The flag is displayed all the way around the circuit. The red flag can occur if the track is blocked following an accident, if the track is deemed unsafe, or if there is some other emergency.
Yellow and Red Striped Flag
The yellow and red striped flag indicates there is a slippery surface on the track ahead. Drivers should proceed with caution until the flag is withdrawn.