Michael Masi: Early end to Japanese Grand Prix was "unfortunate"

15-10-2019 17:00
by Bobby Vincent
General
Michael Masi: Early end to Japanese Grand Prix was unfortunate

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has revealed an "unfortunate" system error was the reasoning behind the race ending too quickly at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.

Race-winner Valtteri Bottas was shown the chequered flag on lap 52 rather than lap 53. Formula 1's rules means that it had to end at that signalled point but the drivers went onto complete the extra lap at full-speed anyway.

An incident similar to this happened at the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix, where Winnie Harlow (model) was instructed to wave the chequered flag after the 69th lap rather than the 70th lap, when it should've been waved.

“From what we have seen it is a system error,” Masi said to Motorsport.com. “It is something that we have to investigate. I am not going to pre-empt what it is, was, or wasn’t. It was a system error.”

Masi believes it was human error and techincal errors that led to the mistake, but says at the time it was too early to speculate about what caused the error.

“That is why we have to look at exactly what happened, reconstruct it and go from there,” Masi said. “We will have a look at what it is.

“It is very unfortunate, I will be the first one to say that. We pride ourselves on doing things perfectly but it is one of those that hasn’t happened before with the chequered flag board, and we have just got to investigate why.”

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