Sebastian Vettel won Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, and he didn't even need to finish the race.
Harlow, a close friend of Lewis Hamilton, was entrusted with the honorary but important task of ending the race, and promptly did so on lap 69 instead of at the end of the scheduled 70 laps.
"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.
The Canadian Grand Prix officially finished two laps ahead of schedule after supermodel Winnie Harlow waved the chequered flag prematurely.
"I was a bit confused".
Vettel was understandably less than impressed with the gaffe as he went on team radio to say: "Tell them not to wave the chequered flag when it's not done yet".
Article 43.2 of the sporting regulations states: "Should for any reason the end-of-race signal be given before the leading vehicle completes the scheduled number of laps or the prescribed time has been completed, the race will be deemed to have finished when the leading auto last crossed the [finishing] line before the signal was given".
Vettel double checked his lap count before confirming there was still a lap remaining with his Ferrari team, while there was a safety concern as course workers stood alongside the track to congratulate the drivers as they were still racing.
"Some of the marshals were already celebrating", he said. "We're still going at full pace". Harlow wrote on Instagram. She owned the error afterward, able to joke about it on Twitter before saying she was "so grateful no one was hurt".
Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group.
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