The call to abolish the blue flags in grand prix racing received further backing today when F1 boss Richard Branson joined the effort.
Blue flags are waved to drivers on the track to warn them they are about to be lapped by a faster car, so they must let them pass. The initial call for the ban came from Lotus boss Tony Fernandes, who believes eliminating them would be better for the race competition, a view that Branson supports.
Fernandes, whose team is in its first year of Formula 1, said:
“Drivers are paid to overtake, whether they are back markers or at the front. I think it would be good for the sport to get rid of blue flags. In the days of Ken Tyrrell, he would never let any car pass.”
Fernandes argues that the racing is about the challenge of getting past other drivers and having a little ‘je ne sais quoi’ in the event.
Branson, the boss of the new team Virgin Racing, argues it would improve the inherent entertainment value of a race, and that such a move would be better for the smaller teams, who would sacrifice time by letting the faster drivers through. He explained:
“It would be a lot more fun if they didn’t have blue flags. I am sure some of the more established teams would not like it, but it is a racing track and they should not have to be told to pull over.”