The FIA has confirmed that the removal of blue flags will be strongly taken into consideration, but at the same time has admitted that getting the rule changed would be “quite something” as it would be a “hugely unpopular” decision amongst teams and drivers. As every Formula One fan knows, blue flags are used as a warning in order to slower drivers that they are to be lapped by another car and, being part of the rules, must move over without impeding. However they are a point of contention with back marker rivals claiming it damages their race, particularly if they’re involved in a battle for position at the time.
Meanwhile leading drivers are in favour of the flags, but often complain they’re not respected. That has prompted a call that they should be removed, but the FIA has been reluctant to do so. However Charlie Whiting admitted this week that the matter is up for consideration: “There’s been talk about that. It’s been proposed a few times. [It would be] hugely unpopular with teams and drivers, of course. It’s something that is on the agenda, so to speak. It’s not been rejected completely but it’s something that we would have to look carefully at to make sure that it wasn’t overly exploited. But I think the principle, in many forms of racing, which they don’t have such a luxury, that it’s something we are going to discuss.” – the FIA Formula One Race Director, Safety Delegate, Permanent Starter and head of the F1 Technical Department explained.
Charlie Whiting added that getting the rule change approved would be difficult and when asked to put a percentage on it, he replied: “Less than 50 per cent I would say. But that’s just a figure. But I mean it’s not popular, as I said, I think it would be quite something to get that through. But we need to think through it carefully.” – he concluded.