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.

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

  1. tezza (@terro55) said on 20th April 2014, 11:11

    i’ve heard of premature ejaculation but premature flagulation that just ridiculous. lol

  2. OOliver said on 20th April 2014, 11:13

    Did they have a guest waving the flag?
    By the way, does F1 still use a start of final lap flag?

  3. Daniel said on 20th April 2014, 11:27

    Hypothetically, how would this work out in a situation where a car would not have the required litre of fuel at the end of 56 laps but would have had it at the end of 54?

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 20th April 2014, 12:31

      Haha, I doubt something like that is in the regulations ^^

    • vaffangool said on 20th April 2014, 14:45

      You’ve got it backwards. The race wasn’t extended by two laps–the official distance was retroactively reduced from 56 laps to 54.

      If anything, a driver would be more likely to preserve the required sample, as he could ostensibly have saved two laps’ worth of fuel.

      Technically, the entire field sees every flag at the same time via the on-board GPS marshalling system–but I question whether display indicated bungled chequers.

    • Dr. Jekyll (@dr-jekyll) said on 20th April 2014, 15:16

      Isn’t that just the rule for qualification… As I understand it (perhaps wrongly) you could set the car on fire if you wanted after the race distance was reached, because the race is over but after quali is still part of the GP

      • No, they give a fuel sample of I believe 900ml after qually AND the race. Remember Seb getting UN trouble for not returning the car back to parc-ferme after he did his doughnuts in India. The cars and drivers are weighed post race and fuel samples taken.

    • RV (@zenren) said on 20th April 2014, 17:14

      With 100 litres cap on fuel consumption during the race, the car can be disqualified from the results for using more fuel than the allowed limit. If the car didn’t have 101 litres in it at the start, it is team’s fault in ensuring that sufficient fuel was put into the car. If teams are required to give fuel sample at the end of the race, they have to give it or get excluded from results.

  4. Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 20th April 2014, 11:37

    So: it takes just a skillfull sneaking on to the pit wall by anyone with an hidden chequered flag to stop a race halfway through?

  5. dragon_2712 said on 20th April 2014, 12:46

    Call me crazy, but I just spent ten minutes coming up with different scenarios of sabotaging a race in your preferred drivers favour by finding ways to get on the pit wall with a chequered flag…disguises…parachuting in…self-ejecting flag hidden in javelin…possibilities are endless :D

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

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

    Do accounts people!

  12. 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!!

  13. 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

  14. 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. :)

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