Motor racing has many ways of communicating with the drivers; one of such ways is using flags.
There are a total of 9 flag colors that are used in communicating with the drivers. All the drivers are supposed to follow the flags and obey them strictly. If the driver is non-compliant, then he or she could face sanctions. The team could also be penalized.
The most common colors that people know include yellow, red, black, green, and others. We shall focus more on the black flag in this guide.
A Plain Black Flag
When a driver is issued a black flag, it means the driver has to head to the pits at the next opportunity.
This flag would be displayed whenever the driver has been driving recklessly and is posing a risk to the other drivers and cars.
It does not have to be the bad side only. Sometimes the driver could have damage to the car and does not know about it. This helps to warn him or her about it and get the car off the track.
An example is having a loosely hanging bodywork or loose hood that can fly into the other drivers.
The black flag could also come in handy when the car is leaking fuel or a mechanical failure that can be fatal.
The same flag can be addressed to a driver with unsporting behavior or fails to maintain the recommended minimum speed or doing other infringements.
So, essentially it means, get off the track.
A black flag containing a white cross
A black flat having a white saltire is given to a driver who has been ignoring the other black flags. This flag means that such a driver is disqualified from the race and the car has not been scored for a while.
It might not be a good idea to ignore this flag as it comes with severe penalties.
Depending on the severity of the actions, the penalties vary a lot. The organizers can impose fines, sanctions, and probation time for the driver and team. In case the offense is serious, the sanctioning authority might take off several points from the team, affecting their standing in a season.
Black and white checkered flag
Whenever you see a checkered flag, it signifies that the race is over officially. The winner of the race is the driver that crosses the start-finish line first. The official will be waving this flag while at the start-finish line.
The drivers crossing the finish line are required to slow down immediately. They have to get to their designed parking area or garages.
Here is a video explaining more details about the different flags in racing
What does a black flag mean for a car on a race track?
The black flag means the car must get off the track immediately. It could be that the car or driver has an issue.
What does the green flag in an IndyCar race?
This signifies that it is go time. This flag would be waved at the start of each race. So, you have always to be ready to start racing when you see this flag.
What does the yellow flag mean?
A yellow flag on the track means that there is an accident on the track. Or, there have been leaking liquids such as fuel, thus the reason you have to exercise caution while on the track as a driver.