One race, two chequered flags: Vettel blasts Canadian GP gaffe

The flag, which marks the end of the grand prix, was waved a lap too early on Lap 69 - though fortunately race leader Sebastian Vettel realised the error and carried on at full pace to take victory. Per Formula 1 rules, the accidental waving of the checkered flag means the race has to be classified via the number of laps completed at the time the flag was displayed.

Drivers continued to race for the extra lap, despite the fact that at some points on the track marshals were waving multiple flags in the traditional end of race salute.

The FIA claim the chequered flag mix-up at the Canadian GP was a result of simple miscommunication, but insist they will "review procedures" for future races.

"The chequered flag was shown a lap early because there was a miscommunication between the start platform and the guy that they call the starter, the guy that starts and finishes the races", he said.

"He thought it was the last lap, he asked race control to confirm it, they confirmed it. They thought he was making a statement when in fact he was asking a question".

Twelve years later, the flag was waved one lap early at the Chinese Grand Prix, with Hamilton being declared the victor.

"It's gone back to lap 68 because that's what the regulations require".

"Fortunately we had radio, fortunately I had the lap count in the auto and the pitboard was accurate - but if you lose radio and maybe the pitboard is not there, then you back off", said Vettel after notching his 50th career win.

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.

"You're dealing with a lot of human beings, different countries, different languages, and it's not always absolutely flawless".

Vettel said he realised what had happened on the penultimate lap and sent a radio message to try and help avoid confusion.

"We all know that means we're on lap 69, but to someone who let's say is more casual observer thinks 'Oh, this must mean it's the last lap'".

"We need to get to the situation now where the drivers only look at the checkered flag on the light panel, because if they don't see that the race hasn't ended".

Vettel confirmed on the counter in his vehicle and with his team that he was only completing his 69th of the scheduled 70 laps.