The chequered flag mix up at the Canadian GP has caused a lot of uproar in the F1 fraternity as any such event in a closely contested race could have led to a massive scandal.
A lot of hate was directed towards Winnie Harlow, the celebrity who waved the flag a couple of laps early, but later the FIA confirmed that the issue was not with Harlow, but with the ‘starter’ who advised her to wave the flag before the race was even done.
FIA and Harlow apologised to the public for the mishap that had occured, and the FIA made it very clear that the celebrity was not to blame.
Apart from hampering the race result, the waving of the chequered flag before the actual end of the race can cause race marshals to come onto the track, raising serious safety concerns as well.
FIA have been working towards devising a system that can prevent such mishaps in the future.
Charlie Whiting has confirmed that the FIA are looking at an automatic system that could work in sync with the traditional chequered flag.
“I think we’d need to probably think about having a better end of race signal,” said Whiting.
“The chequered flag is traditional, but it’s something that, as we’ve seen today, is prone to mistakes.
“You could, and it would be quite straightforward for us, make the big black panel that you see show a chequered flag at the appropriate time.
“But if you’re going to do it automatically, then you’ve got to think about exactly when you’re going to do it, when you’re going to activate it. It’s not completely straightforward, it needs a little bit of thought.
“We need to try and get to the situation where drivers only look at the chequered flag on the light panel. If they don’t see that, then the race hasn’t ended.
“Whether we need to go to that length to rectify a situation that happens every 10 years is arguable. But it’s something that I’ll certainly be looking at.” Whiting said.
Celebrities will continue to be part of the chequered flag tradition, as Whiting once again confirmed that the celebrity was not to blame.
“The celebrity was not to blame, I don’t think that that is anything that we need to consider, certainly not at the moment, anyway.
“We may need to look at other things, like the amount of people that get up there sometimes. That can be a little bit difficult.
“It’s the same at the start, you often get people up at the start, and they tend to bring friends with them, and it gets a bit busy up there.” Whiting concluded.