Ross Brawn apologises to Winnie Harlow over chequered flag mishap
Formula 1’s Managing Director of Motorsports Ross Brawn has apologised to model Winnie Harlow for the error that resulted in her inadvertently truncating last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Harlow was entrusted to wave the chequered flag but was given incorrect instructions by an official, and displayed the flag while leader Sebastian Vettel was on his 69th lap of the scheduled 70.
Under Formula 1 regulations, the result was backdated to the end of the 68th lap, and while it had no effect on the top 10 order, Daniel Ricciardo’s fastest lap honour was wiped from the history books.
Brawn has offered his apologies for the situation and says the sport’s officials will attempt to ensure that a repeat does not occur in the future.
“The sport’s history is a vital part of its future and we want to highlight and preserve it, just as we want to open up Formula 1 to a new audience, whilst not looking to replace the avid fans,” said Brawn in his post-race debrief.
“That process includes bringing celebrities into the paddock and there were plenty in Montreal.
“Winnie Harlow was an innocent victim at the end of the race, when she was asked to wave the chequered flag, but was told to do so after 69 laps of the 70 laps had been completed.
“I was sad to see her so heavily criticised when, as race director Charlie Whiting explained, it was all down to a misunderstanding between two officials.
“Winnie simply followed the instructions she was given and I want to apologise for the grief she received and thank her for supporting Formula 1.
“Something similar happened in China in 2014, but in that instance it wasn’t a celebrity waving the flag.
“As the saying goes, ‘to err is to human’ and all of us – drivers, managers, engineers, mechanics, journalist and fans – make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them and to try to prevent them happening again in the future.”