Under FIA rules, the race was subsequently classified after 54 laps, rather than the scheduled 56-lap race, in accordance with Article 43.2 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations”.
Lewis Hamilton said via on the team-radio he had been shown the chequered flag before beginning his final lap.
While Hamilton’s victory still stood, the error meant Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi’s last-lap move on the Marussia of Jules Bianchi for 17th did not count.
The ruling states: ‘Should for any reason the end-of-race signal be given before the leading car completes the scheduled number of laps, or the prescribed time has been completed, the race will be deemed to have finished when the leading car last crossed the line before the signal was given.’
At this stage it remains unclear why the chequered flag was waved prematurely; although it is worth noting that there were several erroneous blue flags – which warns a driver that he is about to be lapped – throughout today’s race.