sport

Chinese GP result is rewound

Three hours after the chequered flag officially and unofficially fell in Shanghai, the Chinese GP has reached a bizarre end as the FIA declared the race finished two laps early.

As a result of the chequered flag being waved at race victor Lewis Hamilton prematurely at the end of the penultimate lap, prompting a bemused radio message to his Mercedes pitwall from the Englishman, the race has been officially deemed to have been completed on lap 54.

While Hamilton's victory still stands, the rewind means that the pass of Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi on Marussia rival Jules Bianchi for 17th has been wiped from the record books.

"I was thinking, 'Am I seeing things?' I was coming across the line expecting to do another lap and all of a sudden I looked up, saw the flag and I lifted for a second," Hamilton said afterwards.

"Then I saw there was no-one on the wall so I kept going. I did lose a second or so but when I asked the team, they said 'No' and I just kept going. It was very strange."

It's understood that the mistake happened when the clerk of the course unfurled the flag to test it.

While the revision is believed to be unprecedented in recent times, Article 43.2 of the Sporting Regulation does cover such an eventuality, stating: '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.'

All other positions are unaffected by the change.