Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Suzuka, 2019

Chequered flag error means race distance is cut and Perez scores points despite crashing

2019 Japanese Grand Prix

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The official Japanese Grand Prix results will not include the final lap of the race due to an error with the chequered flag signal.

The results of the race have been taken based on the end of lap 52 instead of the full 53-lap race distance.

The error means Sergio Perez, who crashed on the final lap of the race, has been classified in ninth place. Nico Hulkenberg is classified 10th instead of ninth while Lance Stroll will not score a point, finishing 11th instead of 10th.

Last year’s Canadian Grand Prix was accidentally ended a lap early because the chequered flag was shown too soon. Following that, the FIA changed the rules for 2019 which stated the chequered light panel, not the flag, would be the official signal that the race has finished.

“A chequered light panel will be the end‐of‐race signal and will be shown at the Line as soon as the leading car has covered the full race distance,” states the FIA Formula 1
Sporting Regulations.

“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.”

This article will be updated.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Chequered flag error means race distance is cut and Perez scores points despite crashing”

  1. I’m sorry but how does this happen ?

    1. The frequency this happens is embarrassing. Each time its brushed off and just a simple mistake (or blame a local celebrity).

      Last time, they made rules to make sure this would never happen again. They have extra stupid digital displays to “guarantee” it doesn’t happen again with human error and a flag. Well this failed too, so once again, full confidence in F1 to get the simple things right.

      If you can’t run a race without the Start and Finish being correct, you shouldn’t run a race!

      But harsh, but it’s so basic. The drivers know when the finish is. Leave em to it!

    2. F1 what a joke. First off how’s about letting people watch mid field passes live instead of a replay. And how do you mess by letting a crashed car revive points??

  2. Didnt something similar happen in China couple of years back? Though then there was not driver to score point in such bizzare manner.

    1. And even more recently in Canada.

  3. Amazing they still let 14th century technology influence the races.

    1. You won’t believe it, but those engines rely on technology invented in the Neolithic era.

    2. Also they run on literally Dinosaurs

      1. Good one that :D

    3. @zomtec In case you are refering to the actual flag, that was shown correctly. It was the 21st century timing system that had the glitch.

    4. It wasn’t the flag, it was the checkered flag signal.

  4. Oh, man. Stroll deserves more, Hulk too, but I guess only Renault loses out as a team, and Gasly is happy with the extra position. They must be glad Hamilton didn’t manage a last gasp overtake then though, lol!

    1. Oh, right, no, Gasly is still 8th, indeed only Hulk then loses out, and RP actually gains that point, but now with Perez.

    2. Also Serio Perez deserves more..but is what it is…

  5. Again? Ridiculous.

  6. I think the children call that a “bruh moment”.

  7. “End-of-race signal: The traditional chequered flag is still shown as well, but the official end-of-race signal is now a chequered light panel at the finishing line.”

    So, they made a rule to change for this year to prevent this kind of thing and still managed to do it. I guess sometimes F1 is a yoke.

    1. Look, the just s didn’t foresee someone setting the chequered light panel on)
      Next year they will have two panel, a flag and a badger, who will have to run across the track to mark the end of the race!

      No one will be able to tell it is not entertaining)))

      1. Can I apply for the job as F1s official badger handler?
        Would it be a honey badger is Australia?

    2. The TV cameras still show only the person waving the Chequered Flag. It would be much better if we could see the Chequered Flag screens as well, then if there’s some sort of argument about the waving and display of the flag we’d all see it on the video.

      1. Or you know, they just get it right and there is no need for arguments!

  8. *facepalm*

    I got concerns when I saw Chequered Flag in Live Timing… but… really… lack of words.
    Perez must be happy though.

  9. Jose Lopes da Silva
    13th October 2019, 8:52

    I dislike Stroll, so I’m very happy with this.

    1. Feel free to like/dislike, but try to be a real ‘racefan’ when commenting on this site.

  10. But shouldn’t the final results be taken from the end of lap 51 instead since the flag-display came out at the end of 52? In Canada last year, it was lap 68 after the flag got shown at the end of lap 69 (the respective penultimate lap of that race) and the same in China in 2014.

    1. Yes, it should. I’d like to hear the stewards reasoning for this decision.

    2. “the race will be deemed to have finished when the leading car last crossed the Line before the signal was given.”

      based on that line without going back to look and see exactly when the signal was shown, if Bottas had already crossed the line and started the last lap when the flag signal came out, then they would have the call correct.

    3. @jerejj That rule changed at the end of 2003 due to the Brazillian Grand Prix proving the two-lap countback was too complicated for the FIA. (Hardly surprising, if today and Canada last year indicates that one-lap countback is beyond the same people’s ability).

  11. Does this now mean that the stewards now can’t penalise Gasly even if they wanted to as technically the incident with Perez didn’t happen? Like a penalty decision being overturned because the player was off-side.

    1. In theory yeah, but between them screwing up the jump start and this, who knows.

    2. No, it means it’s classed as a cooldown lap procedure. Which, were it not for the mitigating circumstances, would be worse for whoever caused it…

  12. It’s a good job Lewis didn’t get past Seb on the last lap.
    His reaction would be unprintable!

  13. Farcical, is this a professional “sport”?

    1. Yes. It’s also technology-centred, and having the results depend on a technical failure or lack of same is very apt for this.

  14. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    13th October 2019, 11:26

    I can imagine there being a lot of mixed feelings in Team Stroll. This mess-up has benefitted the team overall (2 pts instead of 1), but left Lance Stroll out of a point.

  15. This is a cherry on the cake! Stewarding today was the worst in F1 history!

    1. Yes, you’re right, the Stewards displayed less than their usual competence.

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