Glossary of Motorsport Terms

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  • Marbles - Pieces of rubber from tires that accumulate on the racing surface outside of the racing line that are slippery like toy marbles.
  • Marshal - A person responsible for signaling track conditions to drivers (through use of flags), extinguishing fires, removing damaged cars from the track and sometimes providing emergency first aid.
  • Meatball - A specific racing flag used in some countries to indicate to a competitor there is a defect with the car which has the potential to cause a safety risk to the competitor or to another competitor. Most usually applied to trailing smoke or loose bodywork. The flag is black with a large orange dot in the centre of the flag, looking vaguely like a meatball.
  • Mickey Mouse corner - A pejorative term used to describe a corner or series of corners on a circuit that are thought to be poorly-designed, slow, uncompetitive, and uninteresting, which detract from the overall challenge of the course. In some cases where the entire course is deemed poorly-designed, it can be referred to as a "Mickey Mouse track."
  • Missing man formation - The vehicle on the pole position drops back a row during a pace lap to salute a deceased motorsport personality.
  • Mobile chicane - Disparaging slang. A competitor noticeably slower than the front running pace, so slow as to be a 'chicane that moves around the track'.
  • Monocoque - The single-piece 'tub' where the driver's cockpit is located. The car's engine is located behind it and the front suspension on either side at the front.
  • Monsoon wet - Increasingly common nickname for an extreme weather version of the wet weather tyre.
  • Motorsport Valley - A tag given to the mid-south of England by the Motorsport Industry Association where high concentration of activities within the motorsport industry on and off track occur.
  • Murrayism - A verbal gaffe made by motor racing sportscaster, named in honour of veteran Formula One broadcaster, Murray Walker.