F1 goes old school with return of the chequered flag

Date published: December 5 2019

Formula 1 will reinstate the traditional chequered flag in 2020, using that to signal the “definitive” end of a grand prix rather than an electronic board.

In the age of digital, Formula 1 has incorporated electronic boards along with marshal flags.

These are used to signal anything from danger with the yellow flags and lights to a halted sessions with the reds to the end of a grand prix with the chequered.

It, however, hasn’t always been smooth sailing, for the flag or the electronic board.

In 2018 the flag was waved a lap too early by Winnie Harlow leading to Formula 1 bosses declaring that it is the electronic board that will determine the end of a grand prix.

But this season it was the board that got it wrong, a system error leading to the electronic flag being shown one lap too early.

As such the World Motor Sport Council has voted to bring back the chequered flag, and that will be the “definitive” end of a grand prix.

The WMSC also cleared the wording relating to the sampling and testing of fuel at grands prix to incorporate reference declarations as well as wording to prevent teams from covering their cars during winter testing.

The FIA want to make those events more appealing to the fans by forcing to the teams to allow those watching on to see what is going on inside the garages.

The Council also confirmed the appointment of BBS as the single supplier of wheel rims starting in 2021, following pre-selection earlier in the year.

The statement read: “A consultation phase with the teams and BBS was conducted under the arbitration of the FIA Technical Department, with some resultant minor changes to the initial specification being approved today.

“Following the pre-selection of Magneti Marelli for the fuel primer pump, and of Bosch for the high pressure fuel pump and piping by the Council on 30 July 2019, a phase of consultation with the teams, Power Unit manufacturers and the two prospective suppliers was conducted under the arbitration of the FIA Technical Department.
“Today, the Council proceeded to final appointment of the two suppliers.”

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