Winnie Harlow received malicious criticism after she inadvertently waved the chequered flag a lap to early to end the Canadian Grand Prix, but it was through no fault of her own which has prompted Formula 1 motorsport chief Ross Brawn to apologise personally.
Fortunately, the mishap had no repercussions to the final results of the race in Montreal but could have had there been any late-race changes in positions. In retrospect, it could be said that a rather dull grand prix saved further embarrassment.
Brawn said in the wake of the incident, “Supermodel Winnie Harlow was an innocent victim at the end of the race. She was asked to wave the chequered flag, but was told to do so after 69 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,” he recalled.
“As the saying goes, ‘to err is human’ and all of us – drivers, managers, engineers, mechanics, journalists and fans – make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them and try to prevent them happening again in the future,” added Brawn.
Big Question: Should ‘celebrities’ be allowed to wave the chequered flag?