The meatball flag is a black flag with an orange circle that tells drivers to stop to fix an issue with their car. Here, Jens Hoing is shown the flag due to rear-wing damage in a Formula BMW race in Germany.
Back in my day...
Mechanical failures have always been a part of motor racing, as seen here during the 1961 Monaco GP when Michael May retired from the race.
Fifty years later, nothing’s changed. Here, Kamui Kobayashi’s engine expires during the 2011 Indian GP.
Where am I going?
Of course, the meatball flag isn’t just flown to smoking cars, but any car - such as this Porsche 911 at Sebring in 2011 - that could be a hazard to others.
LAT PhotographicDan R. Boyd
Daniel Welch attempts to drive back to the pits after damaging his front wing during a Formula Renault race at Snetterton in 2005.
Is it hot in here?
Fortunately, the meatball flag is rarely used when fire is involved. The warm feeling in the cockpit is usually a good indication to the driver that they need to get out.
I can still make it!
Gilles Villeneuve infamously attempts to drive his Ferrari back to the pits on three wheels after a spin during the 1979 Dutch GP.
Help! I can't see!
Drivers stuck behind Mark Webber had a tough time on the opening lap of the 2010 Bahrain GP.
Anything goes on the last lap as Sebastian Vettel attempts to bring his Red Bull Racing car home across the line after a late-race collision with Robert Kubica. F1 didn't like that very much.
No meatball flag will be needed for Kasey Kahne as he heads to pit road during a NASCAR race at Chicagoland Speedway in 2005.