Yellow (For Drivers)
The yellow is probably one of the two most commonly used signals on the circuit. This does not mean that familiarity can breed contempt. The yellow communicates DANGER, to you or other people.
To quote from the MSA Blue Book:
Danger, Slow Down Sufficiently to Ensure That Full Control of Vehicle Can Be Maintained. No Overtaking
The reasons for a single waved yellow are many & varied. It could be shown for a car that has pulled off and the driver is getting out, or for a car that has been parked in an awkward position, in this case the flag will be shown for one or two laps to warn competitors of its presence. In short when shown singly it signifies an initial level of danger. It can also be used as a preliminary warning of a double waved yellow.
Putting it briefly:
- Something Is Wrong
- You or Others Are in Danger
- Be Aware of Trackside Situation/Activity
- Look For a Waved Yellow in the Next Sector.
To quote again from the Blue Book:
Great Danger. Slow Down Considerably. Be Prepared to Suddenly Change From the Projected Racing Line, or Take Other Evasive Action Including Stopping If Necessary.
A double waved yellow is a warning of an incident.
Normally the incident will be one that is on or very close to the track and is putting drivers, marshals or other competitors at risk of injury.
Your actions should be as per the Blue Book rule above. A recognition of the flag is very useful, a raised arm will show the marshals that you have seen the signal and will also alert following drivers to take the appropriate action. One small tip is not to slam on the brakes instantly, unless the incident has just happened in front of you, as this can cause an accident involving the following cars.
Although not covered by any specific regulations, the severity of the incident will be conveyed to you by the flag marshal, this is usually an involuntary act! If the flag is being waved with extreme vigour then you should be aware that the incident is serious. On the other hand if the flag is being waved slowly and carefully the chances are the severity is less.
Clerks of the Course take a very dim view of any instance of overtaking another car in an area controlled by yellow flags, you will need a very good reason (not excuse) to avoid at the least a severe sanction for any transgression!