James Allison, the Technical Director of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, says he would get rid of blue flags in Formula 1, feeling it would make the sport more interesting both on and off the track even if would likely hurt his team.
There has been a lot of criticism about blue flags in recent months, particularly with the time penalties handed out to Sergio Pérez and Daniil Kvyat during the Spanish Grand Prix last month.
And whilst Allison says many within the paddock would not agree with him, in particularly Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff, he would make it more of a challenge for the frontrunners to pass those at the back of the field, much akin to the system currently in use in the NTT IndyCar Series in the United States.
“I wouldn’t really muck around in the technical regulations,” Allison said in a video on the Mercedes Youtube channel. “It’s valuable if you want to try and make the cars safer or if you want to speed them up or slow them down. But it’s really really difficult to make a technical change that will materially affect the way in which the cars race against one another.
“Sporting regulations, well that’s a very different prospect and there I would make one change. Everyone around me would probably hate me for this. I know Toto would definitely not support it but I would say do away completely with the blue flags.
“It would make the races an absolute nightmare for a fast car because as we came up to lap people they wouldn’t get out of our way. We would have to fight our way through them and that would make every race interesting all the way through the race.
“It would also mean that teams would have to forge alliances with one another and you would have to be very, very nervous of teams you’d fallen out with which would make it, politically, incredibly intriguing as well.
“Such a change would be disastrous for us but probably really, really interesting in the long term for the sport.”