Race result called two laps early due to flag error

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014The Chinese Grand Prix was accidentally shortened by two laps because race winner Lewis Hamilton was shown the chequered flag early.

Hamilton said on the radio he had been shown the chequered flag before beginning his final lap.

The classified results published by the FIA noted that the race was “declared at the end of lap 54, in accordance with Article 43.2 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations”.

The rule 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.”

The error means Jules Bianchi is classified 17th despite having been overtaken by Kamui Kobayashi at the end of the race.

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

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92 comments on Race result called two laps early due to flag error

  1. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 20th April 2014, 13:38


    The error means Jules Bianchi is classified 18th despite having been overtaken by Kamui Kobayashi at the end of the race.

    Isn’t that 17th?

  2. Mark (@mark4211) said on 20th April 2014, 14:08

    1st it was random Blue Flag marshals waving blue flags to wrong drivers.
    Now theres this?
    What are the Chinese Marshals doing :S
    (Not implying that they are dreaming or stuff)

    • gregwtravels (@gregwtravels) said on 20th April 2014, 19:20

      Does seem to be that the flag waving was somewhat random this race. Seeing Alonso blue flagged because Rosberg was behind him, and then Lewis saying on the radio “I just got the chequered flag” before the race was done.

      They were just lucky that none of the random flagging seemed to have impacted the results of the race.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 21st April 2014, 2:32

      The blue flags are controled by the FIA, you can tell because of the digital flags by the marshalls. They just get the orders and obey them to be honest.

  3. Ricosaurus said on 20th April 2014, 15:12

    There was some blunder since the very beginning of the race. I followed the race both on live TV and on the i-pad F1 app, and from the start the i-pad showed that KM had 14 laps on his tyres when they were on lap 16…

  4. Maciek (@maciek) said on 20th April 2014, 15:16

    That’s quite terrible really. Imagine the controversy had major positions been exchanged during those two laps.

  5. Now I understand the radio communication between Ham and the engineer! I first thought Ham was distracted but no he wasn’t.

    Anyone knows the reason why that happen?

    • RV (@zenren) said on 20th April 2014, 17:18

      May be the official dozed off due to the boring nature of the race, woke up hearing someone say “final lap” and rushed to wave the flag when he saw Lewis coming. It is just my imagination though I doubt FIA would elaborate the actual reason anyway!

  6. Nick (@npf1) said on 20th April 2014, 15:27


  7. jmatos7 (@jmatos7) said on 20th April 2014, 16:20

    Do accounts people!

  8. Good god!!! This is supposed to be a professional outfit and yet they behave like total idiots. If it was amateur sport one could forgive such errors but this beggars belief and shows just what a shambles the sport has become!!

  9. Luke Martin said on 20th April 2014, 16:36

    So if it was shown after 10 laps because a Ferrari was in the lead then it counts as a win

  10. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 20th April 2014, 17:49

    Ah! I wish we’d had known this rule before. We’d had bribed the marshal to wave the flag after 5 laps last season. :)

  11. Roland Deschain (@f12014sucks) said on 20th April 2014, 18:11

    And F1 let’s the fans down again. We and the teams were robbed… how about Koby losing his pass on Bianchi? That just is plain wrong and the FIA/FOM need to get their act together! Things are bad enough this year!!!

  12. philprojectd (@philprojectd) said on 20th April 2014, 20:12

    What a silly rule.

    • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 21st April 2014, 2:13

      Well not really, its quite seinsible, Imagine Lewis had backed off after seeing the early chequred flag while Rosberg shoots past and on to the win after Lewis realises the race is still on has to get back up to speed.
      At best they would have to tell the drivers to switch posiitons back, but the Lewis would have lost the lead advantage he had.
      Not sure what would happen if it was only after 10 laps…

      • Liber Animus said on 27th April 2014, 12:48

        It is a silly rule, because everyone knows how to count up to 56.

        Relying on the flag is not neeeded with the high-tech timing system in place.

  13. Michael Brown (@) said on 21st April 2014, 3:14

    This would be more controversial of a championship contender was affected by this blunder.

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