Photo from official Winnie Harlow Twitter page

F1 still talking about supermodel throwing premature checkered flag at Canadian GP

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It remains to be seen whether Formula One officials will continue to use celebrities and others to wave the checkered flag after Sunday’s embarrassing incident at the conclusion of the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Well, let’s make that a conclusion that came two laps early instead of the scheduled 70-lap event.

The reason the race was “shortened” had nothing to do with weather or track conditions. Rather, supermodel Winnie Harlow was given the honor of waving the checkered flag in Sunday’s race.

The only problem is she waved the flag one lap early! Ergo, the race finished two laps shorter than advertised, much to the chagrin of competitors, teams and fans.

F1 rules state that if a checkered flag is waved too early, the race is considered over at the end of the last completed lap. Because Harlow waved the checkered flag before Lap 69 was over, the race outcome reverted back to an official completion after Lap 68.

According to various reports, Harlow was instructed to wave the flag by a race official after there was apparently a miscommunication or misunderstanding between race control and officials in the start/finish flagstand.

Ergo, an official next to Harlow told her to throw the checkers, even though there was still one more lap to be run.

As a result, F1 officials ruled the race complete after Lap 68, two laps prematurely.

Harlow took to Twitter to give more of her side of the situation.

The incident was downplayed by F1 officials because it likely would not have changed the outcome of the race. Winner Sebastien Vettel led the entire race and likely would still have won even if the race went its scheduled length, unless he wrecked or ran out of fuel in the two laps that were never run.

Vettel was concerned at what happened, not so much because of the mistake, but from a safety standpoint.

“Some of the marshals were already celebrating,” Vettel said. “I was just worried that people don’t jump on the track and start celebrating. We’re still going at full pace.”

Once the confusion subsided, at least one driver, seventh-place finisher Niko Hulkenberg, tried to make light of the situation.

Harlow’s miscue wasn’t the first time a similar event has occurred. Back in 2002 at the Brazilian Grand Prix, legendary soccer star Pele was late in waving the checkered flag. And then in 2014 at the Chinese Grand Prix, the checkered flag was waved one lap early.

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IndyCar: Ed Carpenter Racing signs Ed Jones for road, street course races in 2019

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2017 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Ed Jones has signed on to compete in IndyCar road and street course races in 2019 for Ed Carpenter Racing, the team announced Wednesday.

Jones replaces Jordan King at ECR, whose contract was not renewed for 2019.

“Joining Ed Carpenter Racing and Scuderia Corsa for the 2019 IndyCar Series is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of,” Jones said in a media release.

Jones will also drive a third car for ECR in the 2019 Indianapolis 500, making it 13 races of the 17-race IndyCar schedule that he’s due to compete in.

“Ed Carpenter Racing has shown amazing speed the last few years at the Indianapolis 500,” Jones said. “You can always expect the ECR cars to be at the front. I am really grateful for this chance and will do everything I can to make sure we, as a team, make the most of it.”

In addition, Las Vegas-based Scuderia Corsa will become a partner with ECR on Jones’ No. 20 Chevrolet (as well as the No. 64 Chevy he’ll drive in the Indy 500).

“Both ECR and Scuderia Corsa have been successful in their respective series and I feel the combination of forces will be greatly beneficial,” Jones said. “I’m extremely excited to get underway.”

Jones will yield driving duties in the No. 20 Chevy for four races to team owner Ed Carpenter on oval tracks, while Spencer Pigot returns as the team’s full-time driver in the No. 21 Chevrolet.

“I am very excited to welcome Ed Jones to the ECR family, as well as Scuderia Corsa and Giacomo (Scuderia Corsa co-founder Giacomo Mattioli),” Carpenter said. “I was very surprised when Ed became available at the end of the season. I look forward to working together to get ECR back in Victory Lane.”

The 23-year-old Jones, who hails from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, previously drove for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2018 (finished 13th in the final season standings) and Dale Coyne Racing in 2017 (finished 14th). He won the Indy Lights championship in 2016, as did new teammate Pigot in 2015.

During the 2018 season, Jones had two podium finishes (Long Beach and Belle Isle II) and eight top-10 finishes in the 17-race campaign.

Since forming in 2012, Scuderia Corsa has earned more than 100 wins over numerous racing platforms, primarily sports-car based. However, it made its first foray into IndyCar racing by backing Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and driver Oriol Servia’s effort in the 2018 Indy 500.

Jones began his new job with ECR immediately, watching new boss Carpenter take part today (Wednesday) in a closed Firestone tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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