Flag Marshal

Motorsport Flags

“Oil” (For Drivers)

Marshals proverb: Nothing concentrates a racing drivers mind more than an oil flag.

This flag is known by a number of names, most of them generated, and discarded by the MSA. It is traditionally known as the oil flag, but has other names such as the Red & Yellow Striped flag the Change of Surface flag or the Slippery Surface flag. With regard to the rules the current Blue book merely says: slippery surface ahead

What we are really trying to say is: Please Look At The Floor! If the flag is waved: Please Look VERY Carefully at The Floor! The main reason for this is of course oil or some other nasty fluid has made the track slippery. If the flag is waved this has made it very slippery and a visit to the adjacent scenery is a distinct possibility.

There are two main signals which are self explanatory, a stationary, or a waved preceded by a stationary in more serious situations.

In the past the flag had a much more widespread interpretation which a lot of flag marshals today still use. It may for example refer to smaller pieces of debris from other cars on the track, or perhaps things as diverse as gravel or dead animals!. This alerts the drivers to the problem without the need to show a yellow flag, which could be seen as a little over the top.

I can’t give any specific guidance as to actions on this one except be very careful.