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All forms of motorsport use a system of flags or signal lights to inform drivers of hazards during a session. While technological advances has meant that, in Formula One, many flags have been replaced by signal lights, the system of coloured flags has remained constant since the early years of racing.

Flags currently in use in F1[]

Flag Meaning
Yellow flag.png
Single stationary yellow flag means overtaking prohibited due to danger near the track. Single waved yellow flag means overtaking prohibited due to danger on the track. Double waved yellow flag means overtaking prohibited due to blocked track. At both flags, a speed reduction is required.
SC board.png
SC board
Safety Car is put out on track when an incident blocks the track or leaves a lot of debris. Drivers stay behind the SC until the marshals have cleared up. VSC (Virtual Safety Car) is for more minor incidents, where no safety car is on track, but drivers must slow down to a required Delta. This flag is usually accompanied with a yellow flag.
Yellow and Red striped flag.png
Yellow and Red Striped
Slippery track, due to oil, water or loose debris. Can be seen 'rocked' from side-to-side (not waved) to indicate a small animal on track.
Green flag.png
Normal racing conditions apply. This is usually shown following a yellow flag to indicate that the hazard has been passed. A green flag is shown at all stations for the lap following the end of a full-course yellow, safety car or virtual safety car. A green flag is also shown at the start of a session.
Blue flag.png
A blue flag indicates that the driver in front who is one or more laps down must let faster cars behind pass. If the driver ignores 3 consecutive blue flags, a penalty is issued to the driver. In practice and qualifying, this is shown when a car is being hindered by a slower car.
White flag.png
Slow moving vehicle ahead - often waved on the last corner during free practice when drivers do practice starts. Also used when a miscellanious vehicle, such as the medical car or an ambulance, is on track.
Red flag.png
Session suspended or stopped due to imminent danger to competitors or spectators, or due to bad weather.
Black flag.png
Driver is disqualified and must return to pits immediately. This flag is accompanied by the driver's race number.
Black Flag with Orange Circle.png
Black with orange circle
Car is damaged or driver has a mechanical problem and must return to pits as soon as possible. This flag is accompanied by the driver's race number.
Black and white flag.png
Half black/Half white
Warns a driver for unsportsmanlike behaviour. May be followed by a black flag upon further infringement. Accompanied by the driver's race number.
Chequered flag.png
Chequered flag
Session is completed. In practice and qualifying, this means drivers are not allowed to start laps, but they are allowed to complete laps.
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