Article 43.2 of the sporting rules dictates that if the chequered flag is waved early, even in error, the race is over.
That is precisely what happened towards the end of the Chinese grand prix, meaning that a last-lap pass by Kamui Kobayashi did not officially count.
Explaining the mishap, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said that with a couple of laps left to run, the local race director Zhuang Tao asked Charlie Whiting if a white flag should be shown to mark the penultimate lap.
By radio, Zhuang relayed Whiting’s answer to the flag man with the words “No flag now”, but the Chinese official reportedly did not hear – or misunderstood – the “no”. (GMM)