What do the different flags mean?
Flags are the MOST IMPORTANT form of communication the Marshals/Officials have with the drivers while they are on the track. Therefore, it is imperative that drivers know what each flag means.
Session is open.
Yellow Flag – STANDING/Motionless
Slow down. Danger ahead. ABSOLUTELY NO PASSING is permitted, until completely past the incident, or until past next manned flag station that is not displaying any Yellow Flag(s), whichever comes first. Note: There may be several yellow flags before reaching the emergency area. The requirements are still the same, SLOW DOWN, NO PASSING.
Yellow Flag – Waving
Great danger, slow down. Be prepared to stop. ABSOLUTELY NO PASSING is permitted, until completely past the incident, or until past the next manned flag station that is not displaying any Yellow Flag(s), whichever comes first.
Double Yellow Flags/YELLOW AND WHITE FLAGS
Full course yellow condition exists. Be prepared to encounter a Pace Car and/or emergency vehicles. Drivers should not significantly slow down. Be prepared to encounter a slow moving pack and other local flag conditions. Always obey the local flag conditions (e.g. waving yellow). ABSOLUTELY NO PASSING is permitted, until the Pace Car (if on track) has pulled off AND the driver has past the next manned flag station that is not displaying any Yellow Flag(s).
Black Flag – Furled
Track Officials want to talk to you. Complete current lap and pull into the hot pit for consultation with the start stand.
Black Flag All
All manned turn stations will display standing black flags during this condition. Some turns will display a sign with the word - all cars must proceed to hot pit. No passing.
Session is over. Complete current lap cautiously and exit via pit lane. Passing rules remain the same during the checkered flag lap.
Emergency. Come to an immediate and controlled stop on either side of the track, in a safe location within view of a manned flag station. All manned flag stations around the course may display a Red Flag. This means that the session has been stopped. No passing is allowed.
- During red flag, all cars must pull aside from the driving line and stop. All drivers must remain in their vehicle with helmets on.
- All flag stations may then display a black flag indicating that the remainder of the session has been canceled and the drivers should exit the track.
Blue/Passing Advisory Flag
Another vehicle is following you very closely and may attempt a pass.
(yellow w/ vertical stripes)
Caution! Oil or debris may be present on the track surface or a slippery condition may be present. Note: If the car can be driven over the problem, it should be the debris flag. If the car cannot be driven over the problem it should be a yellow flag. Debris may remain but the flag may come down after 1-2 laps.
Emergency vehicle or slow moving vehicle is on course.
Mechanical Black Flag
(Black with center dot, usually red/orange)
(a.k.a. meatball flag) There appears to be something mechanically wrong with your car. Proceed to the start/finish tower to speak to a track official at reduced speed and off the racing line.