Monday, 11 juny 2018, 06:40 , by Matthew Scott
Supermodel Winnie Harlow has been absolved of any blame after she waved the chequered flag too early and caused the Canadian grand Prix to be called two laps short. Although the blunder did not impact upon the final result of the race, Daniel Ricciardo lost the fastest lap to Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.
Harlow was in attendance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as a guest of world champion Lewis Hamilton, but ended up taking the spotlight as the race drew to a close after appearing to wave the chequered flag at Kimi Raikkonen - a potential misunderstanding as his fellow Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was coming around the final lap to win.
In Harlow's own words, the FIA delegate "had one job", which didn't go to plan and motorpsort's governing body insist the error was not the 23-year-old Canadian's.
"It was a miscommunication between the start platform and the guy they call the starter here," FIA race director Charlie Whiting told Reuters.
"He thought it was the last lap and asked them at the top to confirm it, they confirmed it. They thought he was making a statement when in fact he was asking a question.
"He told the flag waver to wave it a lap early. It was as simple as that, it wasn't anything to do with the fact it was a celebrity flag-waver.
"The celebrity was not to blame."
Vettel caught the incident on television screens across the track and radioed his team to highlight the error. He later said that a fear of fans making their way onto the track - a post-race tradition at many events - was on his mind.
Vettel told a press conference: "Fortunately we had radio, fortunately I had the lap count in the car and the pitboard was accurate – but if you lose radio and maybe the pitboard is not there, then you back off.
"I was just worried, I told them also on the last lap, then people don't jump on the track, waving flags and celebrating, because we're still going at full pace. I don't know what happened."