Racing Flags



October 2014 | Techs

Motorsport is dangerous. We have to remember this reality. To try to reduce at the most the very numerous risks incurred by the drivers, but also marshals, The team's staff and sometimes the public, there are rules which must be respected by all, for the good progress and the hope to be able to continue these sports during still of numerous years, no matter the category.

This article is dedicated to flags, and their meanings. In particular used on tracks, they are a major information source for the drivers in track, and now more and more accompanied with flashing lights for a better visibility.Their respect must thus be maximum, and that's why, neither the officials, nor marshals, nor the drivers have the right to make mistakes.

All of these have a role to play in the efficiency of flags. All are essential in the organization of a weekend of competition.

The information must be also well reminded to each, thanks to the briefings. Those must be precise and complete and remind to all the rules even the simplest without making of difference between the experimented and the novices and realized when all are attentive. Fans could also learn the rules of every flags and be aware of their significations.


Yellow: danger in track / likely intervention of marshals, overtaking is forbidden and Obligation to slow down

Double Yellow: Danger / total or partial obstruction of the track / Marshal's intervention in danger zone, you must to slow down and get ready to stop.


Yellow + Safety Car: Safety Car procedure, entered track of the safety car, obligation to slow down on the whole track, overtaking is forbidden, be careful to respect the red light at the pit exit.


Green: Deployed in the post following the yellow flag to indicate that the way is clear. 

Further to a Safety Car procedure, it's presented at all the posts. At the first lap of every session, it's presented at all the posts, and in the same way during the warm up lap of every race.


Red: Immediate Stop of the race or session, the competitors have to follow the indications of the race direction


Blue: Indicate that a competitor with a lap beforehand is about to overtake you during the race, you must let it pass.

A faster car is just behind you during a practice session. Could be presented at the end of the pitlane when a cars are on the racing track.


White: Slow vehicle on track, intervention car, ambulance or racing car in trouble. Be careful 

In North America, the White Flag indicates the final lap of the race. 


Red and Yellow: change of adhesion, risk of glide (gravel, oil, sudden rain).



Black and White in diagonal: Warning, presented with the driver's number concerned for no respect of the rules. Flag presented 3 times before exclusion.


Black: disqualification, presented with the driver's number. Putting in danger the people present on the track or having had 3 Black and white flags.  


Orange circle on a black background: presented with car's number, for undetectable  mechanical problem by the driver, and must return to the pitlane. 



  Checkered flag: End of the race, presented to the winner of the event  then to the others.

Also presented to the end of trial sessions or qualifications.


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