Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Checkered flag fiasco 'not my fault' says Winnie Harlow

It wasn't Harlow's fault: According to multiple reports, she was told to wave the flag by a race official after a miscommunication between the start/finish gantry and race control.

Canadian supermodel Winnie Harlow waved the checkered flag at the end of lap 69 of a scheduled 70, throwing race leader Sebastian Vettel for a loop.

The mistake also meant the race was officially declared as 68 laps long with the final two laps erased, and the FIA, Formula 1's governing body, have sought to explain the incident.

After securing his third win of the season, he explained that he was concerned the error could have led to a risky situation for fans and marshals at the circuit.

"I told them I don't think the race is over yet", Vettel told The Associated Press.

'When they tell you to wave the flag a lap too early, ' the 23-year-old said in a post on Instagram. "I was just anxious that people don't jump on the track and start celebrating".

Although it had no bearing on the result, Daniel Ricciardo did lose his fastest lap which he set on lap 69, with Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen instead taking that record. Twelve years later, the flag was waved one lap early at the Chinese Grand Prix, with Hamilton being declared the victor. "They thought he was making a statement when in fact he was asking a question".

"If all the marshals had started coming on the track when the guys were still racing, which is what I believe happened somewhere else in the past, that's something that if this ever happens again we need to make sure we can take care of that".

Harlow, a perhaps-romantic friend of Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, was given the honor of waving the checkered flag to denote the end of the race.

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