Celebrities are a common sight at Formula 1 races as they add some sheen to the race and also fulfil their own fantasies of watching an F1 race from close quarters.
When they are treated like fans who have a little more privileges than others, it is fine, but when they are given the responsibility of waving the chequered flag in order to end the race, F1 should take a little more care.
What transpired today on lap 69 was that the chequered flag was waved by celebrity Model Winnie Harlow.
The TV commentators immediately caught on to the issue and spoke about how the the drivers were playing it safe by going all out during the final lap, but the race result was already locked in.
According to the article 43.2, the ace results had already been locked in based on track position on lap 68.
“Should for any reason the end-of-race signal be given before the leading car completes the scheduled number of laps, or the prescribed time has been completed, the race will be deemed to have finished when the leading car last crossed the [finishing] line before the signal was given.” the article states.
Such incidents don’t happen quite often but this was clearly a mistake on the part of the person responsible to give the chequered flag to the celebrity and to explain to her exactly what needed to be done.
You give someone a flag, they go ahead and wave it. You need to tell them what exactly needs to be done.
Vettel won the race, ending a long drought for Ferrari in Montreal. Bottas and Verstappen were the other two drivers who made it to the podium.
Perez was the biggest casualty because of this fault as he was pushed back to 14th.