Racing Academy: Know Your Flags

Learn more about the flags used in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship…

Flags have been in use since the early days of motorsport and today, are used universally across all racing paddocks and disciplines around the world.

Appearing in an array of colours and patterns, they have one key function – to provide information to drivers about the conditions of the session they are participating in.

Formula E is no exception to the rules and on a high-speed street circuit, it is vital for a driver to be aware of the environment around them, understanding the meaning of every flag that flies their way.

Green Flag: This is the one we like to see. The green flag signals the start of a race and is also shown at the end of a caution period. If this one is waving, we’re racing.

Yellow Flag: Caution! If a yellow flag is waving, danger lies ahead. One yellow flag indicates a hazard on or near the track [waved or stationary]. Double waved yellows mean a driver must be prepared to stop, with a hazard blocking the track and marshals on the scene.

Yellow and Red Striped Flag: This flag may be less common, but it’s still equally important. If this is shown, it informs drivers that the track ahead is slippery, advising extra caution.

Blue Flag: No driver likes to see this one. If the blue flag is shown, it means a faster car is approaching and you’re about to be lapped. Failure to get out of the way on three occasions will lead to a penalty.

White Flag: The white flag informs drivers that there is a slow-moving vehicle ahead.

Red Flag: The red flag was a regular feature in Season 5 and if shown, means that a session has been stopped, with conditions too dangerous to continue racing.

Black Flag: If a driver has been shown the black flag, they have been disqualified from the race.

Black Flag with Orange Disk: This one is more common in Formula E than you may think. If a driver has damage, they are shown this flag which instructs them to pit for repairs.

Black and White Flag: This flag acts as a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct. If a driver fails to adhere and comply with the warning, there is a threat of disqualification.

Chequered Flag: Everyone knows this one, right? The chequered flag signals the end of a race. If a driver sees it first, excellent! If not, better luck next time.