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Old 23 Nov 2021, 15:04 (Ref:4085120)   #286
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Im fully on the marshals side here, lets not forget we are talking about highly skilled drivers here, that have been racing since the age of 8, they SHOULD be able to spot the flags.

There was a pretty scary incident in WEC at Bahrain this month (I think) where a marshal was on circuit and was almost hit by a GT car because he didnt slow for the yellows/ VSC.

With all that said, this is a partnership between drivers and marshals. There is definately an art form in protraying the seriousness of an incident to a driver.

One of the most valuable experiences i had, was a training day at Oulton Park. We were driven around the circuit at high speed by Barry Williams and were asked on the return to the pits at what points we saw the flags...

...it was an eye opener that when you get tunnel vision, how much you need to wave a flag to notice it properly. Made me a better marshal
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 15:07 (Ref:4085123)   #287
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Originally Posted by Mike Harte View Post
I'm afraid, possibly because I am an old fart that used to race, that it seems to be the current attitude of recent drivers, in all forms of circuit racing, that seems they should be the arbiters of how they should react to flags and driving standards, not marshals or the person responsible for ensuring both are followed properly.

And, I am afraid that the excuse that the driver didn't see the flags is as old as is motor racing. Problem is that it is impossible to actually monitor so maybe we should get Bill Gates to come up with an injectable chip that can record what the drivers can see or has seen.

A less drastic solution might be to use helmet cams, then everyone could see what's happening from the driver's eye-view.
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 15:14 (Ref:4085125)   #288
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Originally Posted by ascarracinguk View Post
Basically i think drivers have become too reliant on these other things and have taken their eye off the ball where flags are concerned.
combined with a new track and limited running, perhaps we are at a limit of what a driver can keep their eye on at one time?

everyone will have suggestions on how to fix things (and this may be something i am falsely remembering something that they used to do?)...but how about an additional sound warning as well?

they know what sector every car is in so once the notice for a flag is issued a warning sound is broadcast to every car in that sector should be a relatively simple fix to implement?

is that silly?
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 15:19 (Ref:4085127)   #289
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Originally Posted by bjohnsonsmith View Post
A less drastic solution might be to use helmet cams, then everyone could see what's happening from the driver's eye-view.
in the fix f1 thread i have speculated a few times about F1 moving to helmets with HUD/AR capabilities...in this case something that could display flags on their visors.

DanRic was commenting on his inability to spot any of the track markers during the start of the race on account of being sandwiched in between other cars. could help for this as well.

certainly expensive and perhaps something that could be used too much as a drivers aide but the opposite of low tech solutions are high tech solutions and F1 does love itself complicated tech.

anyways im totally off topic here. back to the wars!
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 16:31 (Ref:4085144)   #290
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Originally Posted by chillibowl View Post
combined with a new track and limited running, perhaps we are at a limit of what a driver can keep their eye on at one time?

everyone will have suggestions on how to fix things (and this may be something i am falsely remembering something that they used to do?)...but how about an additional sound warning as well?

they know what sector every car is in so once the notice for a flag is issued a warning sound is broadcast to every car in that sector should be a relatively simple fix to implement?

is that silly?
New track, limited running? Maybe, but then there were numerous flags over the weekend with dozens of cars not breaking the rules, so I’d say let’s not overreact. 2 people being caught out isn’t that great a number, it just had large consequences because it was in qualifying.

Let’s face it, if it was Masespin getting a penalty, this thread would have ended days ago.

I think the driver has enough beeps for gear changes and the radio with the team. Could easily miss an important flag signal via the audio.
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 16:41 (Ref:4085150)   #291
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An important thing to remember - last year (I think!), in Mexico, Bottas crashed and damaged the light panel system. FIA signalling telemetry in the cars is sent and received by the panels (for the indicators on the wheel). In the case of that crash, the *only* thing the approaching drivers were left with was the flags.

A flag never loses power. Unless it's dropped into the tyre wall *whistles innocently*.
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 16:42 (Ref:4085151)   #292
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Originally Posted by crmalcolm View Post
e.g. - if there was a marshal's post that was waving a blue flag, a light panel flashing yellow and your in-car system was reporting 'green' - what action should a driver take? I would put it that the driver has to observe the safest option (assume they are passing a yellow) and also consider that they may be the recipient of the blue flag.
An experienced flaggie would not display a blue flag to cars approaching a yellow zone - it's asking for cars to overtake when they're not supposed to.
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 16:47 (Ref:4085154)   #293
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Originally Posted by Greem View Post
An experienced flaggie would not display a blue flag to cars approaching a yellow zone - it's asking for cars to overtake when they're not supposed to.
Maybe a bad example to put out there. Although what if the yellow light panel was initiated by Race Control, not the flaggie?


(Not wanting to sound critical, just trying to illustrate a point that there may be discrepancy between light panels and flags for genuine reasons )
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 17:06 (Ref:4085157)   #294
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Originally Posted by crmalcolm View Post
Maybe a bad example to put out there. Although what if the yellow light panel was initiated by Race Control, not the flaggie?


(Not wanting to sound critical, just trying to illustrate a point that there may be discrepancy between light panels and flags for genuine reasons )
Tbh as a flaggie I’ve never liked lightboards being initiated by race control. Men/ women on the ground can often see more than race control.

Obviously for safety car/ VSC/ red flag that situation changes, but for white, yellow, blue, green and limited adhesion lights I’d take a decent flaggies judgment over race controls any day

I’m also not the biggest fan of lightboards tbh. They certainly have their purpose in fog, rain and at night, but what they can’t show is the severity of an incident.

A flag marshal can convey how serious an incident is by how he/she/ they wave the flag. Low risk a gentle wave, extreme danger…litterally hanging out of the marshals point, waving violently and pointing towards potential danger. A light just blinks
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 17:42 (Ref:4085163)   #295
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Originally Posted by crmalcolm View Post
Maybe a bad example to put out there. Although what if the yellow light panel was initiated by Race Control, not the flaggie?
As someone who's flagged *and* operated the F1 Marshalling System light panels at a number of British Grand Prix, I hope the following might offer some constructive points for everyone.

Just for F1, and using Silverstone as an example: There are 31 flag points on the GP circuit. There are 15 light panels. Each panel has an operator nearby, who is usually an experienced flag marshal themselves. Each panel can align with one or more flag points; it is usual for them to cover two but some are by themselves, and some can cover three.

The F1MS Light Panel Marshal (as the tabard says!) has to keep tabs on all of the flag points in their cover area, and mirror what the flaggies are doing (excepting the blue, which for F1 is automated via GPS & telemetry). To give some examples, again from my experience at Silverstone:

1. Luffield In - one panel operator, one flag point (Luffield Centre). Panel is in the straight-on position on the outside of the track before the cars turn in to Luffield. Controller is in the corner before the panel.

2. Beckett's - one panel operator, three flag points (Beckett's In, Beckett's Centre and Beckett's Out). Panel is on the inside so driver's right about half way through the sequence. Controller is towards the final part of the sequence.

3. International Pit Straight - one panel operator, two (and sometimes three!) flag points. Panel is opposite the garages towards the middle of the pit lane, on the left. Controller is opposite the garages towards the end of the pits.

I've been on more posts but they're possibly the best illustration.

In any of those places, if one of the flag points goes yellow, the panel operator goes yellow too - usually at the same time - and the TV graphics go yellow too ("Yellow Flag Sector 1" for example). When the incident clears, *or* when race control instruct, *or* when race control do it themselves, the controller resets the signal, the graphics go "Green", and the race continues.

If you've got one or two points to watch, both in the same direction, it's really easy. If you've got two or three, and they're spread either side of you (as in examples 2 and 3 above) you really have to keep your attention up and ensure you don't get tunnel vision in one direction.

In some cases, especially with multi-car incidents, it's easy to concentrate on e.g. the car that's just gone past spewing debris, wait for the yellows that side, go single yellow, and then turn around and realise that the flaggies upstream are frantically waving doubles because someone is upside down in the middle of the track which you then have to upgrade the panel to. Even a couple of seconds at moments like that feels like an eternity.

With the flaggies themselves, there are usually two or more per flag point. One is on the yellow, facing downstream, another on blue facing upstream, and if there's someone else there they can help with safety car boards and so on. That way they don't get suckered into all looking the same way (hopefully!).

All the panel ops are on the same radio channel as the blue flag marshals, yellows on a different channel. I think I've had a couple of times where I've been instructed to do one thing and the flaggies another, on purpose, because of the position of an incident - referrring to the "sometimes three" above is because cars that pull off around Abbey (T1) can be in a place for the panel to be yellow, but posts 1 and 2 don't have flags out, just 3, yet RC want lights 1 to be yellow because the car is out of sight round the corner.

Ultimately, F1 is a bloody high speed event and everything has to work exactly to plan and instruction, but there's room for mistakes (small or large) at every level. We're all human, after all - from marshals to drivers to senior officials. When the eyes of the world are focused on an event, with diabolically entrenched views about things, and potentially tens if not hundreds of millions of pounds at stake - it's easy to forget that there are very experienced, yet slightly imperfect and potentially by the end of a race weekend fairly tired human beings involved.

So there you go. A view from the trenches.
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 17:46 (Ref:4085164)   #296
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In summary:

Drivers are human, they make mistakes
Marshals are human, they make mistakes
Those criticising are w***ers, they’re welcome to sign up and give it a go if they think they can do it better

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Old 23 Nov 2021, 18:41 (Ref:4085173)   #297
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Originally Posted by Greem View Post
A flag never loses power. Unless it's dropped into the tyre wall *whistles innocently*.
So, as they have been having guests/celebrities wave the checkered flag at the end. I was wondering... if that person dropped the flag accidently. How many spares might they have ready? Same thing for regular marshal post?
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Old 23 Nov 2021, 19:03 (Ref:4085176)   #298
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So, as they have been having guests/celebrities wave the checkered flag at the end. I was wondering... if that person dropped the flag accidently. How many spares might they have ready? Same thing for regular marshal post?
Richard
No spares on post. If you drop one it’s easily retrieved
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Old 24 Nov 2021, 00:54 (Ref:4085212)   #299
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No spares on post. If you drop one it’s easily retrieved
I figured that might be the case for a post. But for the start/finish. In which you may be hanging over the circuit. I suppose there is a spare checkered flag or two? You drop one, it might be on the circuit many feet below you and not easy to retrieve

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Old 24 Nov 2021, 07:12 (Ref:4085235)   #300
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Originally Posted by Richard Casto View Post
I figured that might be the case for a post. But for the start/finish. In which you may be hanging over the circuit. I suppose there is a spare checkered flag or two? You drop one, it might be on the circuit many feet below you and not easy to retrieve

Richard
I’ve don’t chequereds at Donington and Oulton and they don’t there, but they have a second chequered post slightly further down the straight just in case drivers miss the first one
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