Formula 1 rejects blue flag overhaul

Formula 1 chiefs have decided against an overhaul of blue flag rules as part of wider discussions aimed at making grand prix racing more exciting, can reveal.

The FIA has held several meetings with team representatives over recent weeks to try to frame a series of rule tweaks that will improve the spectacle for 2016 and beyond.

Although rejecting refuelling, efforts are being made to look at other rule areas that could improve things, such as giving teams freedom to choose tyre compounds for each race.

Another rule idea that has also come up for discussion in both Canada and Austria is for a tweak to the blue flag regulations, with the view to giving backmarkers more time to let the leaders through.

One theory is that by not forcing backmarkers to get out of the way so quickly, it could make the job of the race leader harder and potentially make things more exciting.

Strict rules

The FIA has acted tough on backmarkers for several years now, with the rules explicit about how quickly they must get out of the way when the leaders come through.

Article 20.6 of F1's Sporting Regulations states: "As soon as a car is caught by another car which is about to lap it during the race the driver must allow the faster driver past at the first available opportunity.

"If the driver who has been caught does not allow the faster driver past, waved blue flags will be shown to indicate that he must allow the following driver to overtake."

Drivers that take too long to move out of the way are punished with time penalties.

Relaxing the demands

An FIA source confirmed that the idea of relaxing the blue flag rules has again come up for discussion, but the idea had met with some resistance from certain quarters.

In particular, it has been suggested by some teams that if a change was introduced – such as backmarkers had a full lap or even longer to get out of the way – then it could hurt those outfits at the front of the field.

With no consensus for things to change, the matter has not moved forward which means there is unlikely to be any imminent change.

An FIA spokesman said: "It has been discussed but nothing has been decided, so no changes will be implemented in the short term."

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news
Tags blue flags