The FIA has opened an investigation regarding the glitch that caused the Japanese Grand Prix to be retrospectively shortened by one lap.
The chequered flag board, which since 2018 has signalled the finish over the waving of a flag, was erroneously displayed to Valtteri Bottas as he began his final of 53 laps.
The race continued until its official resumption but shortly afterward the timing screens reverted to the classification at the end of lap 52, which was given as the final result.
It meant that, while the positions among the top eight did not change, Sergio Perez was classified ninth, as his crash occurred on the final lap – his 52nd lap, having already been lapped by Bottas.
It shuffled Nico Hulkenberg down to 10th place and relegated Lance Stroll out of the points.
“From what we’ve seen it’s a system error,” said Formula 1’s Race Director Michael Masi. “It’s something that we’ve got to investigate. I’m not going to pre-empt what it is or wasn’t.
“The change for this year’s regulation was that the big board on the start gantry is the official signal.
“Valtteri got the chequered flag on that and everyone thereafter received it. Until we could confirm that Valtteri had actually received it a couple of teams came on the radio and they were advised to continue racing to the scheduled distance.
“So it was a system error. What the exact part of it (was) I can’t tell you here and now. It’s something that we'll look at and obviously rectify.”
Masi was unable to confirm whether it was a human or computer error that led to the mistake.
“There’s actually an element of both in there,” he said. “That’s why we’ve just got to look at exactly what happened, reconstruct it and go from there.
“We’ll have a look at what it is and it’s very unfortunate. I’ll be the first one to say that. We pride ourselves on doing things perfectly but it’s one of those that hasn’t happened before with the chequered flag board and we’ve got to investigate why.”