Flagman accidentally waved the checkered flag a lap early at the F1 Chinese Grand Prix

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 20: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates his victory as he crosses the finish line during the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on April 20, 2014 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Major series mistakes in the flagstand aren't limited to NASCAR.

During Sunday's Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, the marshal in the flagstand waved the checkered flag for Lewis Hamilton with one lap to go instead of the customary white flag to signify the last lap of the race.

And much like NASCAR's decision at Bristol, Formula 1 had to live with the results of the race when the mistake happened.

Hamilton was told to keep going on his radio, but slowed down briefly as he took the checkered flag a lap too soon. It was Hamilton's third straight win of the season and his team, Mercedes, has won the first four F1 events of 2014.

"That was very strange. I was thinking 'Am I seeing things?'", Hamilton said after the race. He was not seeing things.

Formula 1 rule 43.2 states that if the flag is waved in error before the finish of the race, the results of the race are taken from the order at the last completed lap by the leader before the error. The race was scheduled to be 56 laps, so the official results from Sunday's race are from 54 laps of the race.

The rule subsequently nullified a pass for 17th place by Kamui Kobayashi on the last lap, but that pass was more for pride than points. F1 only awards points through 10th place, so it won't affect the standings unless Kobayashi's team needs the place at the end of the year in the constructor's standings.

At Bristol in March, a NASCAR official in the flagstand accidentally hit the override for the caution lights as Carl Edwards was about to have two laps to go for the win. After NASCAR was forced to put the entire field under yellow, rain arrived, forcing the sanctioning body to call the race and ultimately end it with what the finishing order was on lap 497.


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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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