Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Sport | By

Model Winnie Harlow not to blame for early chequered flag - Charlie Whiting

Model Winnie Harlow not to blame for early chequered flag - Charlie Whiting

There was confusion galore at the Canadian Grand Prix as the chequered flag was waved too early by model Winnie Harlow.

As a supermodel, Winnie Harlow causes a stir almost everywhere she goes.

Sebastian Vettel put in a tremendous drive in Montreal, leading from start to finish as he clinched his 50th career win.

The FIA will look into the procedure surrounding the waving of the checkered flag after the Canadian Grand Prix was brought to a premature end.

Had Vettel been passed on the 69th or 70th lap, it would not have counted in the final results.

Some F1 fans took to Twitter to blame the mishap on Harlow, but a Formula One spokesman said that there was a communications issue between race control and the starter on the stand with her, who was responsible for telling her when to wave the flag. "I was just anxious that people don't jump on the track and start celebrating". For that reason, everyone was able to joke about the incident afterward, including Niko Hulkenberg, who finished seventh.

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.


"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 vehicle.

"I was anxious", Vettel said. "They peaked a bit early".

Brazilian soccer great Pele famously reacted too late when Ferrari's Michael Schumacher won at Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit in 2002, brandishing the flag instead as the later finishers appeared.

"Lol it wasn't me", she wrote in one, while another tweet read, "Loool just following instructions".

The race result wasn't affected by the early flag and erased final laps, with no changes of position taking place, but did see Max Verstappen take the fastest lap of the race rather than Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Formula 1 is an nearly unique sport in handing over such privileges.

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