Speed Racer? Chaos as Model Waves Flag to End Formula 1 Race One Lap Early

© AP Photo / Arthur MolaWinnie Harlow
Winnie Harlow - Sputnik International
On Sunday, the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix ended in unexpected fashion when Canadian supermodel Winnie Harlow waved the checkered flag, signaling the end of the race, one lap too soon.

"I was a bit confused. I told [my team] ‘I don't think the race is over yet,'" winner Sebastian Vettel, who drives for Scuderia Ferrari, told USA Today Sunday.

​"Some of the marshals were already celebrating…. I was just worried that people don't jump on the track and start celebrating. We're still going at full pace," he added.

Harlow, a model with vitiligo who gained widespread fame as a contestant on "America's Next Top Model," waved the flag at the end of lap 69 instead of scheduled lap 70.

​According to a Formula One spokesperson, however, the mistake wasn't Harlow's fault. There was a miscommunication issue between race control and the starter on the stand with Harlow, who told her when to wave the flag.

Sunday's bungle could have been very dangerous, seeing as race staff and team members usually enter the track at the end of the race. If the Formula 1 race cars were still going at full speed, which is close to 200 mph, some people could have been seriously injured. Luckily, no one was hurt and the race's outcome was unaffected since no passes were made on lap 69. The final results were based on the last completed lap (lap 68).

​"IT WASN'T ME," Harlow tweeted Sunday. "But I'm so grateful no one was hurt!"

The race marked Vettel's 50th win of his career and his third win of the season.

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