Banish blue flags and penalties, just let drivers race – Warwick


World © Octane Photographic Ltd./Carl Jones. January 11th 2013. Autosport International. Derek Warwick

BRDC President Derek Warwick says that blue flags should be banished from F1 races, and the amount of penalties currently being awarded should be reduced.

A clarification on blue flags was given last season, after many drivers complained they were being held up by backmarkers, but Warwick believes them to be unnecessary and that drivers should be left to their own devices, as he explained to Autosport.com recently.

“Regulations are made for the front end of the grid.

“The people that talk in driver briefings to [FIA F1 race director] Charlie [Whiting], like [Sebastian] Vettel and [Mark] Webber when he was there, [Fernando] Alonso, [Jenson] Button, all the experienced guys that want the best for them to make their race perfect.

“It is them that have pushed for blue flags, drivers being penalised. We need to come back and help the back end of the grid, I think.

“Take away blue flags, take away all these penalties. Let’s get back to harder racing and let people work out how to overtake when coming to lap a slow car.

“These guys will enjoy F1 more if all of a sudden, the great drivers like Lewis Hamilton, who will be unbelievable in traffic without the blue flags, will be even more unbelievable.

“That will bring fans to Silverstone and watch the British Grand Prix.”

Warwick has assumed the role of a FIA driver steward at past grand prix, and 2017 is no exception, when the Brit will attend four races as the experienced hand.

“I’m doing four races this year.

“Charlie has asked me to do Australia because it could be a bit of a bun fight, the first grand prix with the new regulations. I really look forward to it.

“You’re not paid, but I enjoy it and I’m lucky enough that I can afford to give something back.

“It’s interesting the amount of data we have in the stewards’ room – brake pressure, steering angle, speed, corner exit. We have everything, and that’s instant.

“We have an engineer in the room that records everything so we can go back and look at an incident.

“We’ve got 60 circuit cameras, on-boards, off-boards so we can analyse each incident.”

According to Warwick, F1 has become too health and safety conscious of late, but added that although the cars should not be made less safe, drivers need to be allowed to race more, hinting that on track incidents should also not be judged as harshly as they have been, the drivers just need to be left to it.