Supermodel Winnie Harlow created some checkered-flag confusion in Montreal, but it wasn’t her fault. (Valdrin Xhemaj/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
As a supermodel, Winnie Harlow causes a stir nearly everywhere she goes. Things were no different Sunday at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
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. There was just one minor issue: She waved it at the end of the race’s penultimate lap instead of the final lap, leading officials to declare the race over after 68 of 70 laps.
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.
The gaffe didn’t change much of anything: Sebastian Vettel, who was declared the winner, led the entire race and maintained his speed after the flag went out, so he almost certainly would have won anyway had the race gone the full 70 laps. For that reason, everyone was able to joke about the incident afterward, including Niko Hulkenberg, who finished seventh.
Not much going on today.. but @winnieharlow thanks for finishing after 68 of 70 laps 😉😁June 10, 2018
Still, the early flag could have created a dangerous situation.
“Some of the marshals were already celebrating,” said Vettel, who had realized the flag came out too early because he had a lap counter in his car. “I was just worried that people don’t jump on the track and start celebrating. We’re still going at full pace.”
Formula 1 rules state that if the checkered flag is waved too early, the race is over as of the last completed lap. The regulation has been invoked a couple of times in the past: According to ESPN, soccer legend Pele failed to wave the flag at the right moment at the 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix. Twelve years later, the flag was waved one lap early at the Chinese Grand Prix, with Hamilton being declared the winner.
Sunday’s error did have one minor ramification, however: Daniel Ricciardo had the fastest lap of the race, but it came on the now-erased Lap 70. Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen earned the honor instead. The driver with the most fastest laps at the end of the season receives an award handed out by Formula 1.
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Source : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/06/11/supermodel-ends-formula-1-race-two-laps-early-with-premature-checkered-flag/