Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has confirmed the FIA will look into the current end of race signal procedure after a miscommunication at the Canadian Grand Prix which saw the chequeref flag show before the final lap.

Confusion was triggered at the end of the F1 race in Montreal when the chequered flag was waved early, which was later explained as a miscommunication between race control and the race officials who told celebrity guest Winnie Harlow to wave the chequered flag.

Harlow wasn’t apportioned any blame for the incident, with Whiting explaining she was following instructions given to her, but the knock-on effect saw the official race classification end of lap 68 rather than the scheduled 70-lap full race distance.

Canadian GP - Driver Ratings Part 1

Despite not appearing to have too serious an impact on the outcome of the race, but Daniel Ricciardo did lose the fastest lap of the race to Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen after his time was deleted on lap 69, Whiting says an investigation into the issue will be run which could triggered changes to the rules for the future.

“I think we need to think about having a better end of race signal,” Whiting said. “The chequered flag is traditional but it is something that is prone to mistakes.

“It would be straightforward for us to use the big black panel that you see up there to display a chequered flag at the appropriate time. But if you’re going to do it automatically you’ve got to think about when you are going to do it and when you are going to activate it.

“It’s not completely straightforward and it needs a little bit of thought, but it still wouldn’t have stopped the situation here [in Canada] where the race control told a message to all marshals that the chequered flag had been given.

“Whether we need to go to those lengths to rectify a situation that happens once every ten years, is arguable. It’s something that I will certainly be looking at.

“It’s not satisfactory, luckily it didn’t affect the result but it may need us to review procedures and make sure we have a very simple procedure for every circuit.”

The majority of F1 drivers are given a lap count on their steering wheel so they know what lap they are on, while many also have a pit board to display their lap count in case of any technical issues.

During the Canadian GP confusion race winner Sebastian Vettel radioed to Ferrari the chequered flag had been waved too early while all drivers continued to complete a full race distance. The mix-up triggered safety fears with the track invasion by fans potentially starting before the end of the race while some drivers could have also backed off with others continuing at racing speeds.

Canadian GP - Driver Ratings Part 2