Here's a lesson in why it's absolutely vital to obey the flag signals on a track.

Warning: contains some NSFW language

When a race track marshal waves a yellow flag, the signal means “slow down and be prepared to stop.” It’s an absolutely vital and yet wide-ranging warning that covers everything from debris on the track, to half-a-dozen cars blocking the way. Best, then, to exercise caution if you ever see it. A number of drivers in this video don’t do that, and it very nearly costs someone their life.

The incident occurs at the notorious Brunnchen section of the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit. It’s a tricky double right-hander, the second element of which has a very fast uphill approach, a very late apex and is totally blind. It can easily suck an unwary driver in too early, or too late, sending the car scittering off the road. Put some oil on the track, and it becomes very dangerous indeed.

And it’s an oily track that causes the problems here. Though a couple of cars have sideways moments, it isn’t clear there’s anything serious going on until a BMW M3 clatters into barriers backwards, at which point the marshal puts out a waved yellow flag. And someone decides to run down the inside edge of the track, waving their arms, in an effort to get drivers to slow down.

Some drivers get the message, but others don’t. Including another BMW driver who gets the corner completely wrong and slews off the track, straight towards the fella waving his arms. Fortunately, he has the presence of mind to leap over the barrier, clearing the top just as the BMW passes directly beneath him. The cameraman’s reaction is entirely understandable - it is the closest of close shaves.

Yet more cars pile into the corner too fast and it quickly becomes a parking lot, forcing the track to be neutralized so damaged cars can be recovered.

Apart from the marshal, no-one comes out of this especially well. That particular flag post is well-sighted, so every driver should have seen and obeyed the signal. And the would-be Good Samaritan really should not have been stood on the edge of the track. Indeed, he may well have been the distraction that caused the BMW to go off the track and nearly mow him down.

Hopefully, everyone learned their lesson.

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