Winnie Harlow flag gaffe ends Canadian GP two laps early

Adjust Comment Print

"I've been watching Formula One for a long time and we're going to see our first Formula One race", said Glynn Cornwall, a fan from Toronto who made the trek with his son and a friend.

The most eventful part of Vettel's race after that came at the start of the final lap, when the chequered flag was shown more than one lap early. It's a three-way fight, six cars can win races and you can't take anything for granted.

"Starting from pole, Vettel led away at the start and was never headed as he controlled the race from the front to finish over seven seconds clear of Mercedes" Valtteri Bottas.

An opening-lap collision saw Brendon Hartley and home favourite Lance Stroll take their leave nearly immediately, while Fernando Alonso's 300th grand prix was not an occasion to celebrate as he, too, retired early. We all know we're on lap 69, but to someone who is a slightly more casual observer, they might think "oh, this must mean it's the last lap".

"Perfect is a good way to describe this", said a delighted Vettel.

Max Verstappen kept close to Bottas as best he could - and later confessed to a little bit of contact between his Red Bull and the Mercedes at the start, shrugging it off with, "That's racing, isn't it?" Vettel's lone pit stop on the 38th of 70 laps saw him emerge with a six-second lead.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fourth for Red Bull, and denied the fastest lap by the early flag waving which meant that did not count. It was the same for Bottas running behind Vettel. It's not satisfactory, luckily it didn't affect the result but it may need us to review procedures and make sure we have a very simple procedure for every circuit.

Victory in the 2018 Canadian GP gives Vettel the championship lead with 121 points to Hamilton's 120
Victory in the 2018 Canadian GP gives Vettel the championship lead with 121 points to Hamilton's 120

"Our vehicle wasn't good enough, so I won't get too upset".

The Spaniard now turns his attentions to the Le Mans 24 Hours race with Toyota next weekend.

Behind the leading cars, Renault took a one-two finish in the "Class B" race, with Nico Hulkenberg leading home Sainz to claim seventh and eighth for the team.

The absolute dead silence from Fernando Alonso as his McLaren team instructed him to retire his vehicle in his 300th career F1 race was both poignant and strangely hilarious.

Stroll got out of shape through the fast right-hand kink, squeezing Hartley, who was on his left, between the Williams and the tyre barrier, briefly launching the Toro Rosso into the air.

The same issue occurred at the 2014 Chinese Grand Prix and Whiting believes it is due to a misinterpretation of the lap countdown on F1's world feed. A year ago, Stroll picked up the first Formula One points of his career in his hometown.

Comments