Date: 17th August 2016 at 6:48am
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Formula One should change the rules regarding to blue flags according to Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

If the sports bodies took a straw poll down the paddock regarding the blue flag rules then the results would be pretty split.

The lead cars and drivers probably all want stricter rules, the cars and drivers in the midfield and further back probably want more flexible rules or for blue flags to be abolished completely.

If you are unaware of what blue flags are, they are waved to a backmarker to tell them that a faster car, normally the leader or leaders are coming through to lap them.

Historically, this hasn’t been an issue, usually the lead cars would always have a performance advantage and they would catch and pass the backmarkers relatively quickly.

But in modern day Formula One all the drivers go through phases in the race, at times they will be racing full pelt, but at other times they could be fuel saving, managing their power unit for future races, managing their tyres or they could be on old tyres.

When this happens the performance gap between the drivers shrinks, making the blue flag system very difficult.

‘When they [the faster drivers] are coming with the new tyres, or just the same tyres and much faster, it’s easy. [in Germany], Vettel behind me, he was about two tenths faster because he was on the old tyre, of course, it would take him 10 laps to close a two-second gap, I did a few laps in front and then we had the warning from Charlie [Whiting] and we let him by – and that cost us 2.6 second in a straight line. That was a lot of time lost. Grosjean told motorsport.com.

‘Ideally, I would like a blue flag system which is in fuction of the delta speed between the cars – so if they’re one second faster per lap at a two-second mark is fine.

‘If they’re two tenths faster a lap at the two-second mark, it’s just… you see them in the mirrors, miles away, they’re not catching up, so you’re like ‘why should I let him by?’.


At a recent drivers meeting the blue flag system was discussed. Unsurprisingly like everything in Formula One no-one could agree a way forward and nothing was decided.

‘It’s a difference of opinion – some want to keep the two-second mark, some want to go to a one-second mark. Everyone’s got a different opinion.

‘I would be in favour of a shorter threshold, but as soon as you see blue flags, you’ve got less than a half-lap to let the guy by.’

 

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