Chinese GP: Chequered flag error means race declared on lap 54

A mistake with the chequered flag at the Chinese Grand Prix has resulted in the distance of round four of the 2014 Formula 1 season being shortened

Chinese GP: Chequered flag error means race declared on lap 54

Lewis Hamilton was shown the chequered flag at the end of lap 55 - one lap before it was supposed to have been displayed.

F1's regulations state that if the chequered flag is shown early, then the race will be deemed to have finished the lap before.

Article 43.2 of F1's sporting regulations states: "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 line before the signal was given."

That means that the Chinese GP was declared to have finished on lap 54 of the 56 that actually ran.

Speaking about the chequered flag incident, Hamilton said: "That was very strange. I was thinking 'am I seeing things?'

"I looked up, I was coming across the line expecting to do another lap and all of a sudden I looked for a split second and I saw the flag.

"I lifted for a second and I saw there was no one on the wall, so then I just kept going.

"I did lose a second or so. I asked the team, they said no, so I just kept going.

"Very, very strange. It was good to do another lap."

The changed distance did not alter any of the points-scoring positions but it did result in Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi being relegated to 18th, having pulled off a late move on Jules Bianchi's Marussia for 17th.

Revised results - 54 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h33m28.338s 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +18.062s 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +23.604s 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault +27.136s 5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +47.778s 6. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +54.295s 7. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +55.697s 8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +1m16.335s 9. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes +1m22.647s 10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap 13. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault +1 lap 15. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +1 lap 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari +1 lap 18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault +1 lap 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari +2 laps 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault +2 laps Retirements: Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 28 laps Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 5 laps 
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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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