I was worried, says Sebastian Vettel

Jun 12, 2018, 08:27 IST | AFP

Victorious Ferrari driver blasts chequered flag gaffe at Canadian GP

I was worried, says Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel celebrates on the podium at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. Pic/AFP

Sebastian Vettel revealed yesterday that he was concerned about the dangers of a possible track invasion when the chequered flag was waved prematurely before he won the Canadian Grand Prix. The flag was waved by model Winnie Harlow who said she was just "following instructions", but it meant the result of the race was decided by the positions at the end of lap 68 instead of lap 70.

Vettel said he realised what had happened on the penultimate lap and sent a radio message to try and help avoid confusion. "Fortunately, we had radio and we had the lap counter in the car and my pit board was accurate," said the four-time world champion Ferrari driver.

"But if you lose radio and maybe the pit board is not there, then you back off and being in the lead, you hope all the others back off as well. I was just worried. I told them on the last lap, so people don't jump on the track, waving flags and celebrating, because we are still going at full pace.

"I even watched it on the TV, on a trackside screen, and after I saw the flag it said 'final lap' on the graphics so then I was a bit confused. I told them the race isn't over yet and they said 'no, keep pushing' and I saw some of the marshals were celebrating. They peaked a bit early!"

Vettel claimed the 50th win of his career and reclaimed the lead of this year's world championship when he ended Lewis Hamilton's run of supremacy at the Canadian GP. Vettel drove his Ferrari with near flawless aplomb to convert his 54th pole position into a triumphant afternoon ahead of Finn Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and determined Dutchman Max Verstappen, who was third for Red Bull. It was Ferrari's first win in Canada since 2004.

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