Backmarkers

canis

Race Winner
Valued Member
As has been pointed out the backmarker gets 2 blue flags to get out of the way before the third, which normally gives a reasonable length of the track to pick where to give way, but it does strike me that the blue flags are closer together at some circuits than others. Would it be a good change to say that the blue flags are shown at the start of each straight on the track, thus giving the backmarkers 2 straights to give way to the faster car? A nice standard measurement, though can see some disadvantages such as if the first straight is the back straight at china...
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
It is just as likely that the leader of the two drivers mentioned above will lose 2 more seconds than the man chasing him. There are limits to what can be done to make this totally fair. I think that most of the back markers are made aware by their team if a critical situation occurs, most seem to avoid causing problems.
 
I figured I should weigh in on this one, hence my name, but back markers are a part of all motorsports and F1 is certainly no exception. When you look at other forms of motorsports the back markers or just other classes of slower cars within a field are inherently a part of the race. They do at times provide some of the excitement as is the case of this thread. While nobody wants to be one of the drivers out there at the back, they have all experienced this throughout their careers. As all have been in the position of passing the back markers. I agree that we have had some drivers that just appear to be moving chicanes at times, but for the most part I think that they all understand the situation but make decisions with split second timing, sometimes the wrong one. Have we not all made a bad decision driving on the motorways at times. Triple or quadruple the speed and things just happen faster with less time to correct. To me it's just a part of the race and at times that part does have an effect on the outcome..that's racing!
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
The problem with that is the vastly different starting points. Politically, the frontrunners see the backmarkers as the disposable jackasses preventing them running three cars. The backmarkers, meanwhile, obviously defend their right to exist. So I don't think there is too much overlap of their intentions.

Remember the row about

Monaco 2010 when the big teams moaned about the traffic and how the guys at the back would slow them down ...cue Alonso crashed in practice and had to start from the back and fight his way through and Lucas Di Grassi did his best to hold him up

Valencia 2010 when Webber went into the back of Kovalainen - the row whether Kovailainen should have moved over in knowing it was a faster car despite racing for position at the time

Yes the aftermath when EJ and DC agreed was great. EJ backed the backmarkers right to be in F1 whilst DC thought they are fighting a losing battle

I do not think back markers should simply lie down and surrender if they were battling for positions as in those cases

However if they were being lapped that is a different story because they should move over ... that is why stop go and drive through penalties were introduced for them bulking

Obviously Monaco 2001 when Bernoldi held DC for 60 odd laps lapping 4 seconds slower got Mclaren seething and Ron Dennis accusing Bernoldi "Trying to end a driver's career" I am afraid that is the misfortune if it ever happened at Monaco although I probably too would have been mad at Bernoldi

There was another contentious moment in 1999 when DC and Schumacher were battling for lead at Imola. Dc was trying to close on Schumacher and then came up to some backmarkers and one of them being Fisichella who was busy fighting his own battle . Schumacher won the race but the marshalls were accused of Ferrari favouritism and not doing their job properly in issuing blue flags

I also remember Imola 1993 in the wet race when Lehto, Andretti and Wendlinger spent 20 laps behind Suzuki's footwork who was a lap down so could not believe no one realised he was a lapped car


We've had some classic backmarkers like Arnoux , De Cesaris, Grouillard, Inoue - guys who did not know what blue flags meant when it was being waved at them

Class drivers like Senna and Schumacher were absolutely brilliant in handling backmarkers better than other drivers

Senna simply use to intimidate the backmarkers to get out of the way or crash
Schumacher was more methodical and his games man ship and always prepared to handshake backmarkers before the race as some sort of gentleman gesture

compare this to the attitude of Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 who thought guys like Rosset were a waste of space that is hardly going to help his own cause to gain respect
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I should say Vettel's attitude is not very clever ..yes he is upset about it at first but when he realises he looks a bit foolish he might think twice about what he said
 
So does Vettel LOL

Doesn't every frontmarker expect every backmarker to abandon his own race just to let the frontmarker past?
I understand the need for blue flags if it's for safety, but other than that let the frontmarker get past the backmarker the same as he would have to when passing another frontmarker. It is after all a motor race, not a handicapped horserace !
 

Viscount

Pole Sitter
Contributor
Senna vs Irvine:

Suzuka 1993 saw the début of a fresh faced Irishman who in his very first race with the Jordan team managed to both secure his place in F1 and enrage none other than Ayrton Senna.
Eddie Irvine had opted to unlap himself from race leader Senna in an effort to overtake a struggling Damon Hill driving the Williams Renault. After a little alcohol and winding up from Gerhard Berger, Senna found Irvine sitting on a table in the Jordan cabin and decided to have a word about race etiquette, but didn’t expect to be called “too slow” by the rookie.

Senna : What the **** do you think you were doing?
Irvine : I was racing!
Senna : You were racing? Do you know the rule that you’re supposed to let the leaders come by when you’re a back marker?
Irvine : If you were going fast enough, it was no problem.
Senna : I overtook you! And you went three times off the road in front of me, at the same place, like ****ing idiot, where there was oil. And you were throwing stones and all things in front of me for three laps. When I took you, you realised I was ahead of you. And when I came up behind Hill, because he was on slicks and in difficulties, you should have stayed behind me. You took a very big risk to put me out of the race.
Irvine : Where did I put you in any danger?
Senna : You didn’t put me in any danger?
Irvine : Did I touch you? Did I touch you once?
Senna : No, but you were that much from touching me, and I happened to be the ****ing leader. I HAPPENED TO BE THE ****ING LEADER!
Irvine : A miss is as good as a mile.
Senna : I tell you something. If you don’t behave properly in the next event, you can just rethink what you do. I can guarantee you that.
Irvine : The stewards said “No problem. Nothing was wrong.”
Senna : Yeah? You wait till Australia. You wait till Australia, when the stewards will talk to you. Then you tell me if they tell you this.
Irvine : Hey, I’m out there to do the best for me.
Senna : This is not correct. You want to do well. I understand, because I’ve been there I understand. But it’s very unprofessional. If you are a back marker, because you happen to be lapped …
Irvine : But I would have followed you if you’d overtaken Hill!
Senna : You should let the leader go by …
Irvine : I understand that fully!
Senna : … and not come by and do the things you did. You nearly hit Hill in front of me three times, because I saw, and I could of collected you and him as a result, and that’s not the way to do that.
Irvine : But I’m racing! I’m racing! You just happened to …
Senna : You’re not racing! You’re driving like a ****ing idiot. You’re not a racing driver, you’re a ****ing idiot!
Irvine: You talk, you talk. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Senna : I was in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Irvine : Yes. I was battling with Hill.
Senna : Really? Really? Just tell me one thing. Who is supposed to have the call? You, or the leader of the race who comes through to lap you?
Irvine : The leader of the race.
Senna : So what have you done?
Irvine : You, you were too slow, and I had to overtake you to try to get at Hill.
Senna : Really? How did I lap you if I was too slow?
Irvine : Rain. Because on slicks you were quicker than me, on wets you weren’t.
Senna : Really? Really? How did I come and overtake you on wets?
Irvine : Huh?
Senna : How come I overtook you on wets?
Irvine : I can’t remember that. I don’t actually remember the race.
Senna : Exactly. Because you are not competent enough to remember. That’s how it goes you know.
Irvine : Fair enough. Fair enough. That’s what you think.
Senna : You be careful guy.
Irvine : I will. I’ll watch out for you.
Senna : You’re gonna have problems not with me only, but with lots of other guys, also the FIA.
Irvine : Yeah?
Senna : You bet.
Irvine : Yeah? Good.
Senna : Yeah? It’s good to know that.
Irvine : See you out there.
Senna : It’s good to know that.
Irvine : See you out there …
Appearing to turn away Senna then turns and punches Irvine with his left hand landing on the right side of Irvine’s head. Irvine loses his balance and falls off the table. Senna is still shouting as he is hustled away.
Irvine: Insurance claim there!
Senna (leaving) retorts “You got to learn to respect where you’re going wrong!”
 

ATL11

Podium Finisher
Senna vs Irvine:

Suzuka 1993 saw the début of a fresh faced Irishman who in his very first race with the Jordan team managed to both secure his place in F1 and enrage none other than Ayrton Senna............................
Love it, thanks for that, I do have Irvine's Autobiography tucked away somewhere, it's one of those books I'll read in years to come, you just know Irvine's character he took nothing from anyone.........shame organisation's conspired against him to win the World Championship.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
alas I do remember there was talk Senna was not too happy about Irvine unlapping him and floored him afterwards

Although nothing still beats Piquet giving Salazar a serious kicking in Hockenheim 1982 even Murray Walker had to amuse himself
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Doesn't every frontmarker expect every backmarker to abandon his own race just to let the frontmarker past?
I understand the need for blue flags if it's for safety, but other than that let the frontmarker get past the backmarker the same as he would have to when passing another frontmarker. It is after all a motor race, not a handicapped horserace !

Fair point except that some drivers are better at handling backmarkers better than others

Its a skill itself to lap slower cars and save time for yourself but other drivers do complain that some backmarkers treat them unfavourably to others

like DC mentioned in Imola 1999 Fisichella knew he was chasing Schumacher so should have got out of the way

Its no brainers like that annoys lead drivers when backmarkers already know the leader has just lapped them so they should expect other faster cars coming by or the team to tell them they are being lapped
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Senna vs Irvine:

Suzuka 1993 saw the début of a fresh faced Irishman who in his very first race with the Jordan team managed to both secure his place in F1 and enrage none other than Ayrton Senna.
Eddie Irvine had opted to unlap himself from race leader Senna in an effort to overtake a struggling Damon Hill driving the Williams Renault. After a little alcohol and winding up from Gerhard Berger, Senna found Irvine sitting on a table in the Jordan cabin and decided to have a word about race etiquette, but didn’t expect to be called “too slow” by the rookie.


Appearing to turn away Senna then turns and punches Irvine with his left hand landing on the right side of Irvine’s head. Irvine loses his balance and falls off the table. Senna is still shouting as he is hustled away.

Usually I'd be on the backmarkers side but I can't blame anyone for punching Eddie Irvine I'm afraid.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Slightly off topic but as we're discussing blue flags, they all have signal lights on their steering wheels nowadays, they're fully aware when someone is coming up behind them.

f1steering-wheel.jpg
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Dare I mention the idea of a head display again such as Lotus used back when Jonny Herbert was driving for them to advise when to change gear? Or simply a blue light inside their crash helmet which would always be in their line of vision.

Just on the subject of backmarkers, I've been trying to find a video (without success) of Thierry Boutsen being horribly held up at a GP on (I think Australia 89) by a Benetton to push him back into the other Benetton in 2nd. My memory might be playing tricks but this was before the blue flags and certainly justified a rule change.
 
Top Bottom