RaceDepartment Store

Do you ever race in VR?

  • Yes

    Votes: 141 36.8%
  • No

    Votes: 242 63.2%

Upcoming Events

AC events on Simracing.GP ACC events on Simracing.GP R3E events on Simracing.GP Weekly rFactor 2 events Join TCR Virtual today!

What do blue flags actually mean? | Content collaboration - Ben Harrison - La Broca Sim Racing


Ben Harrison from La Broca Sim Racing is back with more handy tips for those just getting into sim racing. This time Ben tackles the true explanation of blue flags and how they work. It's obvious right? Blue flag means get out of the way of the faster car approaching...well not always.

As you will come to learn with Ben's content, he is the first person to admit when he gets things wrong, and in his latest video in collaboration with RaceDepartment there are more than a couple of examples where Ben admits guilt. You see, Ben is still fairly new to sim racing and is still learning all the nuances of the various rules and regulations from all the various classes out there.

If you are a fair weather F1 fan (and there is nothing wrong with that by the way) you can be forgiven for only understanding the blue flag rules of the most popular motorsport series on the planet. But the fact is blue flag rules can change from series to series, club to club and i've even seen them change from race to race.

With that in mind Ben has taken it upon himself to explain the more common rules found in the likes of GT racing where it's not just a case of let the lapping car through. This is a video that I know will get shared among various leagues whenever the blue flag rules get brought up after a race. Hopefully this will help simmer debates down before they begin.

If you like the content collaboration between Ben and RD be sure to drop a like on his video and let us know in the comments below.
About author
Steve Worrell
A motorsport fanatic and sim racer for over 20 years. Content creator for RD, and MD at Simracing.gp. Favourite sims include ACC, AC, RF2, AMS, WRC9 - VernWozza#7419 @vernwozza

Comments

Im pretty sure it stands for "The guy behind you is trying to kill you and approaching you quickly, try to ram him off the road for extra bonus points!" and then if you do it the black flag means "well done, you can drink all the champion's champagne for free"
 
Im pretty sure it stands for "The guy behind you is trying to kill you and approaching you quickly, try to ram him off the road for extra bonus points!" and then if you do it the black flag means "well done, you can drink all the champion's champagne for free"
I like this form of racing. Where do I sign up?
 
I actually dislike it when I approach slower cars and they jump off the racing line - has led to more incidents than if they just held their line - however some then fight very hard not to get lapped.
Which is understandable at times but if you are 3 laps down already and 3 sec off my pace, just do us both a favor and don't block me when I try to sail past on the next straight. Most of my incidents (luckily not too many) when I hit a car I was trying to lap came out of frustration or taking a risk after getting held up and blocked for 2+ laps, which is not worth it in imo, loses both of us time.

Come to think of it, the blue flag is kind of irrelevant apart from F1, in games at least - what is far more important is being able to race, but be predictable and fair.

Another point is practice or quali - people on out laps or after messing up themselves not letting you by when on a flyer can get annoying fast...
 
I like his approach to investigate rules he is unsure of and share with the community afterwards. And fair play to him showing his mistakes or mishaps! You cannot expect every sim racer to be an absolute know-it-all, so it is really worthwhile to reach out to a broader, more casual and maybe inexperienced audience.
Well done Ben & RD!
 
Blue flag means you get to race the leader even if you are lap down with a broken car! Move unpredictably, try to get someone in your house to download something so your connections goes laggy and, lastly, defend like you were battling for a win. Remember, it is the responsibility of the overtaking driver to pass you safely.

Jokes aside I think the most important rule is to know the rules. And in simracing the rules are set either by the sim or by the series you are running. Like said in the video. That being said you can avoid a lot of trouble if you take the mindset of being respectful and giving sometimes little more than the hard rule expects you to. That saves you from a lot of unnecessary wrecks and you can still benefit from blue flags if you play it smart and not courageous. And sometimes the expectation from other people is the f1 rule even if it isn't. Ignoring that aspect may get you into some wrecks. Just like in real life traffic sometimes it is better to let your ego go and avoid a wreck instead of being in the right. Filling insurance papers and dealing with car repairs.

I think the most important thing is to stay calm. I know I used to get some anxiety whenever I got blue flags. I don't want to be that guy who takes out the leader. I want to make it easy and professional. So I gave it little more thought than I should. What should have been a healthy preparation turned into anxiety and worry trying to decode where exactly I was being overtaken so I can plan it perfectly. Which meant I drove half as much looking backwards as I drove looking forwards. That is totally unnecessary pressure.

What helped me was to learn where you can actually pass on the track. This sounds like super self evident but it is important to understand that blue flag pass is still a pass. This means you'll have a lot less stress going though some of the corners where you can not pass with a blue flags and faster car behind you. The uphill esses at Virginia, Eau rouge at Spa or the Karussell at Nords. Sometimes no matter how much you want to stay out of drivers' way you are going to be in drivers' way. And when that happens you go 100% into those corners. You don't lift and coast, you don't brake or swerve or try to make something happen or try to help. Sometimes doing nothing is the right thing.

Practice also helps. Drive the faster car in a similar race and see what it is like. You can learn a lot simply from seeing what the other slow cars do. You may even spot an issue with your own driving when something that you were doing turns out to be annoying or dangerous to faster cars. Even if you were trying to help. You'll also learn places where you are just stuck behind slower traffic. Knowing those places gives you some mental calmness when you are in that slower car being chased by faster car.

The worst thing as a lapped car you can do is to brake or slow down on the racing line when someone is behind you. Never do that because it is the most dangerous thing you can do. It is the most unpredictable thing. Suddenly changing your line though a corner still gives the guy behind time and room to avoid you but brake checking is going to wreck you both because even if there is no contact the sudden braking can easily spin out a car. Never ever touch the brake to help unless the car is already next to you.
 
Last edited:
Of course, blue flag rules are only enhanced by flashing headlights rapidly for 20-30 seconds before actually getting close enough to pass...
 
Of course, blue flag rules are only enhanced by flashing headlights rapidly for 20-30 seconds before actually getting close enough to pass...
I think flashing of headlights should not be considered bad practice per se to make yourself seen. You shouldn't flash continuously as to flash people off the road, but sometimes a flash of headlights can help to identify the lead car you're getting the blue flag for. Same for people approaching pit exit on the ideal line when cars are leaving the pits or if you're on a fast qualy lap and closing in on a car on its outlap.
That said, it is so much easier to communicate all that on voice chat /discord.
 
I think flashing of headlights should not be considered bad practice per se to make yourself seen. You shouldn't flash continuously as to flash people off the road, but sometimes a flash of headlights can help to identify the lead car you're getting the blue flag for. Same for people approaching pit exit on the ideal line when cars are leaving the pits or if you're on a fast qualy lap and closing in on a car on its outlap.
That said, it is so much easier to communicate all that on voice chat /discord.
I've always believed that drivers flashing their lights are asking "Please make this overtake as difficult as possible for me. Please" :)
 
I've always believed that drivers flashing their lights are asking "Please make this overtake as difficult as possible for me. Please" :)
Hmm, I think that might depend on the league you're racing in. I wouldn't necessarily see it as a bad habit of bullies trying to blitz you off the road, but a means of communication. But sure enough it can be misused and misunderstood if not clear to everybody what it means, agreed. It should be used sparsely anyway in my book.
 
For most people racing on faster categories, they seem to think that slower classes must put on a red carpet so they can pass through. It's completely off-putting how so-called "racers" think that's what a blue flag means.
Some even go as far as thinking slower classes should move out of the way during fast corners like Eau Rouge or the Schumacher S. Not even kidding.

When I receive a blue flag, it's merely for "hey there's a faster car approaching, you can continue your race normally, just don't try to make it hard for him to pass you".
 
Blue flag for me means: If a car got blue flagged I would appreciate it if he let me pass on straight. If I am a blue car I would appreciate it if the car behind me passes me on the straight while I keep my racing line.
 
Good info, thanks!

It makes a lot of sense that the slower classes keep their racing line for the most security because we know the racing line and when we come in a faster class car we can predict, more at least, what the slower car will do in front of us.
 

Article information

Author
Steve Worrell
Views
4,235
Comments
15
Last update

Share this article

Top