Whiting defends F1 after chequered flag gaffe

Published on 11 Jun 2018 12:20

Charlie Whiting has defended F1 organisers after a serious and farcical error at the end of Sunday's Canadian GP.

Winnie Harlow, a friend of Lewis Hamilton's and a prominent model, was asked to show the chequered flag in Montreal but accidentally waved it with one lap to go.

As a result, the results had to be counted back to lap 68 rather than the scheduled 70.

"There are no models as marshals or stewards either are there?" joked Force India sporting boss Otmar Szafnauer.

Harlow said she was simply told by a race official to wave the flag when she did, while the FIA's Whiting confirmed that it was "a communication error".

"She was given the order too early. So it's not her fault," he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

The actual mistake was apparently made by a local Montreal official. "He asked the race director if the race was on the last lap. But they understood it not as a question but as a statement and answered ok," Whiting added.

He said it was a serious mistake, but also defended those who made it.

"Wherever there are people, there will be mistakes. We have different communication systems and different languages at every track," Whiting added.

"We could think about replacing the flag with a signal on the LED boards. But it would be a huge hassle for a problem that occurs once in a decade," he said.

Luckily for F1, the actual result was not affected by the mistake.

But race winner Sebastian Vettel admitted it is a problem.

"I was just worried," said the Ferrari driver. "I told them on the radio that people should not jump on the track waving and celebrating, because we're still at full pace."

Replies (6)
Posts: 241
Should have waved it an hour earlier and saved everyone the pain of watching that boring spectacle.
Posts: 106
I think they all wanted go home and told her a bit too early to see if anyone noticed :)
Posts: 239
If Hammy was in the lead I would have said it was an intentional ploy.
SE calle.itw 11 Jun 2018 18:260
Posts: 4801
They coulda ended it there and then. Nothing happened after that point anyway.
US Rindtchamp 11 Jun 2018 19:530
Posts: 221
They just need to stop inviting these utterly clueless so-called 'celebs' to the races. They have no interest in F1 at all and 99% of them couldn't even tell you what the F in F1 stands for. Clueless, ban them and invite real fans who would totally appreciate the access.
BE krommenaas 12 Jun 2018 13:480
Posts: 155
They attract positive attention so they're good for F1. And some are probably genuine F1 fans. This incident had nothing to do with the celeb in any case, you'd have waved the flag too if the official had told you to.

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