There are a few ways that Formula One can inform a driver that there’s faster traffic behind him. One is with the traditional blue flag thrown by trackside marshals. Another, more desperate but more entertaining method, is for the overtaking driver to flip the bird as he blows by the slower car. Let’s watch!
Here we see the driver of one of two routinely competitive cars in F1, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, in his natural habitat at the Hungarian Grand Prix: the lead. Haas F1 driver Esteban Gutiérrez was in front of Hamilton—about to be lapped—and was holding him up. Thus, Gutiérrez was blue flagged to let Hamilton by, and he was obligated to move out of the way.
Watch as Hamilton carefully eases his hand off the wheel and lowers three fingers to leave only the middle finger raised. Perhaps this is more aerodynamic that throwing up all fingers at once, given the high speeds Formula One cars reach on the Hungaroring’s straights.
Alternately, Hamilton could just be frustrated and feeling the need to act a tad rude to a car that was in his way for longer than he wanted. Mind you, his teammate Nico Rosberg in the other competitive car was gaining on Hamilton while Hamilton was stuck behind Gutiérrez.
Either way, Gutiérrez was not pleased that Hamilton would inform him of this pass in such a manner:
Gutiérrez received a five-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags shortly after getting flipped off by Hamilton. Hamilton went on to win the race after passing Rosberg at the very start, thus taking the lead in the drivers’ championship—six points ahead of Rosberg.