Winnie Harlow's checkered flag fiasco ends Formula One race early

The Formula One Canadian Grand Prix ended a lap early on Sunday, but not because of an accident or the weather. The race officials just messed up.

Canadian supermodel Winnie Harlow waved the checkered flag at the end of lap 69 of a scheduled 70, throwing race leader Sebastian Vettel for a loop.

"I was a bit confused. I told them [his team] I don't think the race is over yet," Vettel said after the race, noting that the lap counter in his car read 69.

Some F1 fans took to Twitter to blame the mishap on Harlow, but a Formula One spokesman said that there was a communications issue between race control and the starter on the stand with her, who was responsible for telling her when to wave the flag.

The situation was potentially dangerous, as race staff and team members often enter the track immediately following the completion of an event, assuming the cars have slowed down. In this case, the cars were still going full speed on what should have been the final lap as the drivers waited for clarification on the situation. Fortunately, no one was harmed.

Harlow, a model with vitiligo who rose to fame as a contestant on "America’s Next Top Model," tweeted after the race, “‘It wasn’t me’ *SHAGGY VOICE*” — a reference to a song by the Jamaican singer.

In accordance with Formula One rules for races that are ended too early, the results of the last completed lap, 68 in this case, were used to record the final results. As no passes were made on lap 69, this didn’t affect the outcome, but it did negate a fastest lap time that was recorded by Daniel Ricciardo, who finished in fourth place.

It was Vettel’s 50th win of his career, making him the fourth Formula One driver to reach that milestone. He is also the season's points leader.

The AP contributed to this report.