Sebastian Vettel feared fans on track after Canadian GP flag error

Canadian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel said he was worried Formula 1 fans would run onto the track when the chequered flag was waved before the end of the race

Sebastian Vettel feared fans on track after Canadian GP flag error

The result of the grand prix was taken from lap 68 instead of 70 after model Winnie Harlow waved the flag early, with Vettel passing it for the first time at the end of the penultimate lap.

Harlow said she was "just following instructions", and Vettel said he sent a radio message about the flag being waved early in the hope it would prevent any confusion.

"Fortunately we had radio, fortunately we had the lap counter in the car, and the pit board was accurate," said Vettel.

"But if you lose radio and maybe the pit board is not there, then you back off, and being in the lead, you hope all the others back off as well!

"I was just worried, I told them on the last lap, so people don't jump on the track, waving flags and celebrating, because we are still going at full pace.

"I even watched on TV [on a trackside big screen] and after I saw the chequered flag it said 'FINAL LAP' [on the TV graphics], so then I was a bit confused.

"I told them that I think the race isn't over yet, and they said, 'no no no, keep pushing'.

"Some of the marshals were already celebrating - they peaked a bit early."

Lapped eighth-place finisher Carlos Sainz Jr says he was delayed by Kimi Raikkonen slowing for the early flag.

"I lost four or five seconds, because Kimi saw it and was slowing down in front of me," said Sainz.

"Then he saw it was not the chequered flag and he picked up the pace again.

"I arrived to Turn 2 and all the marshals were waving the flags - I knew they were wrong, I didn't slow down, but Kimi did in front.

"I didn't see the chequered flag, because I wasn't looking at it, and I didn't expect it."

The race result being declared at lap 68 meant fastest lap went to Max Verstappen rather than his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who had gone quickest of all on the final tour.

Ricciardo was being interviewed by Sky Sports F1 when the change was made, and said in open-mouthed shock: "I think it went to me! No, let's re-run this. That's wrong!"

Pierre Gasly, who finished 11th, said having the flag come out early was "risky".

"My engineer told me, 'OK, don't pay attention to that'," he said.

"But that is really risky, because if you lift off after the first one and then everyone passes you... I was a bit surprised.

"The team told me five seconds before, so it was pretty close timing. He told me 'next one is the last lap', then I pass [the line] and I saw the flag and I was like, 'what the fuck?'"

shares
comments
Daniel Ricciardo struggled with new Renault F1 engine in Canada

Previous article

Daniel Ricciardo struggled with new Renault F1 engine in Canada

Next article

Brendon Hartley passes hospital checks after Lance Stroll crash

Brendon Hartley passes hospital checks after Lance Stroll crash
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Edd Straw
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021