A major Formula One race ended early when a supermodel waved the checkered flag a lap too soon!  Winnie Harlow was supposed to help bring the Formula One competition to a sexy finish.  Instead, due to what she’s calling a miscue given to her by officials, she made all the racers finish early.  Hear the details in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.


***Transcript***

Recorded – June 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA

Clinton Quan: Formula One race. She claims that she was told to wave it. I don’t know if that’s been verified or not. Luckily, it didn’t change the results.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with our good buddy, pal, chum amigo, the professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.

Tom Smith: Hey. Hey. So this podcast is about a headline that I read just a day or so ago and I think I’m going to paraphrase supermodel ends …

Clinton Quan: Winnie Harlow.

Tom Smith: I’m sorry?

Clinton Quan: Winnie Harlow.

Tom Smith: Winnie Harlow ends, was it a Formula race?

Clinton Quan: Formula One race.

Tom Smith: Supermodel ends race early with checkered flag mishap.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: I mean let’s just …

Clinton Quan: One lap …

Tom Smith: Let’s just fill in the blanks on that one, okay.

Clinton Quan: One lap early.

Tom Smith: On a beautiful supermodel, has a checkered flag in her hand, probably thousands, tens of thousands of people on the stands, hundreds of thousands or millions of people watching on television.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Recorded for all posterity.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Beautiful supermodel, cameras zooms in on her, she gets flustered and waves the checkered flag early.

Clinton Quan: Well, from what I read, she claims that she was told to wave it.

Tom Smith: She was told to wave it.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Okay. This sounds like … was it Warren Beatty? And who was it, Warren Beatty and somebody else that announced the wrong Oscar?

Clinton Quan: Oh.

Tom Smith: A couple years back.

Clinton Quan: I know what you’re talking about. I don’t …

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: Was that Warren Beatty? I don’t remember.

Tom Smith: I think it was.

Clinton Quan: But I … yes.

Tom Smith: Who watches that show anyway? Sorry, Academy. I know we’re in Los Angeles but you know, hey. So okay. So Winnie Harlow. Where did this happen? It was a Formula race but was it in the States?

Clinton Quan: It was in Canada.

Tom Smith: It was in Canada?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: So there’s only one Formula One race in the U.S. currently and that’s in Austin, Texas at the Circuit of the Americas.

Tom Smith: Well, there you go.

Clinton Quan: So that will take place later in the year in October.

Tom Smith: Learn something from professor every day. So it was a Canadian race, Formula … is it the only Formula race in Canada each year?

Clinton Quan: Good question. I don’t know. I assume there’s only one because since they have races all over the world that I don’t know if there’s another track in Canada.

Tom Smith: Okay. So it was in Canada. Supermodel hails from where?

Clinton Quan: I believe she’s Canadian as well.

Tom Smith: Canadian as well?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay. So this story goes she waved the checkered flag early but it wasn’t …

Clinton Quan: Yeah. On the …

Tom Smith: She wasn’t trying to swat a fly.

Clinton Quan: No, no.

Tom Smith: Right?

Clinton Quan: No.

Tom Smith: Definitely? Not … it wasn’t a bee buzzing by or anything?

Clinton Quan: Definitely not.

Tom Smith: No?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: She wasn’t out late the night before and kind of …

Clinton Quan: No, no, no.

Tom Smith: … still seeing some stuff from the …

Clinton Quan: No.

Tom Smith: From the Rave or anything?

Clinton Quan: No.

Tom Smith: Sorry, I’m sure you’re … I’m not a raver and not a late nighter that that was appropriate.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: I’m sorry, Winnie. So the story goes, she was actually instructed to wave the checkered flag early.

Clinton Quan: That’s what she’s claiming.

Tom Smith: That’s what she’s claiming?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: And …

Clinton Quan: I don’t know if that’s been verified or not.

Tom Smith: So no one’s corroborating her story?

Clinton Quan: I haven’t read anything that states that.

Tom Smith: Okay. So that’s what she’s claiming.

Clinton Quan: Yes, that’s what she’s saying.

Tom Smith: So I mean Formula is a pretty big race, right?

Clinton Quan: It’s a huge race.

Tom Smith: It’s a huge race. So we’re talking about millions and millions of dollars spinning around the track, maybe tens of millions or maybe up over a hundred million dollars spinning around the track.

Clinton Quan: Could be easily.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Tom Smith: So this little mishap …

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Kind of a big deal.

Clinton Quan: Kind of a big deal. Luckily, it didn’t change the results.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Sebastian Vettel still won.

Tom Smith: Okay. So Sebastian who?

Clinton Quan: Sebastian Vettel.

Tom Smith: Vettel?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: With a V?

Clinton Quan: Yes, with a V. He’s a German race car driver for Ferrari.

Tom Smith: Okay. V as in Victor?

Clinton Quan: Yes, V-E-T-T-E-L.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Sebastian Vettel.

Tom Smith: So … but … and the professor and I were talking about this before we started recording and what I don’t really … I mean I get it. It’s the only fair way to resolve this issue I think. I mean … and that is basically in this situation, the flag came down early.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: So the way that they ended the race was actually on the previous lap?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, they take the results from the previous lap from lap 60. I was a little confused at first then I read it again and yes, they … there … I guess there’s rules in Formula One which states that if the flag is waved …

Tom Smith: If the beautiful supermodel drops the flag early because she’s told to.

Clinton Quan: Not just a supermodel, could be anyone.

Tom Smith: Right, whatever. You know what, I read the headline and I was just like … I literally forwarded the headline to the professor. I’m like, “Dude, read up on this. Let’s talk about it because it just sounds ridiculous.” I mean like welcome to the world of sports. What now? Yes. So like what happened to game one of the NBA finals?

Clinton Quan: What was that? I don’t even know. Were we doing a podcast?

Tom Smith: Oh, no, no, no. I was in Chicago for game one. I was watching in my hotel.

Clinton Quan: You did? So you did see the game?

Tom Smith: I didn’t.

Clinton Quan: Oh, okay.

Tom Smith: I got an eight-month old. I sleep …

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: You know, I’m on the couch for two seconds and the baby’s not crying, I fall asleep.

Clinton Quan: Well, that’s a whole another plug cause it ends up …

Tom Smith: Okay. Well, then you listening at home or in the car or in the plane or on the treadmill, you know what happened game one on the NBA finals. I don’t, even though I was watching it. So the rules, they did have some stipulation that this literally fell into.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: So the rules stated that the race ends a lap before the mishap.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: And it just so happens that … I mean obviously it was … the race was almost ending anyway, right.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Because otherwise, why would the supermodel be in the flag waving podium with flag in hand.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: So she accidentally … what … how many laps was it supposed to go?

Clinton Quan: It’s a total of 70 laps.

Tom Smith: Seventy? 7-0?

Clinton Quan: She waived it lap 69.

Tom Smith: She waived it lap 69. So the ruling is we end the race on lap 68?

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Tom Smith: But … so therein lies the rub on that situation is hey, if I’m running second, third, fourth …

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: … within striking distance of Sebastian …

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Tom Smith: … I’m planning on passing him in, you know, X, Y, Z situation in the next few laps because I know I have a couple more laps to do this.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: But oh no, that plan gets pulled out from underneath me because supermodel Winnie is trying to swat a fly with the checkered flag.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Sorry, Winnie, I know you’re not trying to swat a fly. I’m sure you were really told to do it early because it’s a really common occurrence. Actually, I’d say that it’s a common occurrence obviously in jest and to needle the situation a little bit more but they do have a stipulation and the rules for it. So, you know, in her defense …

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: … it still is funny though.

Clinton Quan: It is. Yeah. I would think they would have like big screens where does the countdown, 69.

Tom Smith: Right.

Clinton Quan: I don’t know. I don’t think I’m ever go … shouldn’t there be someone standing next to her telling her …

Tom Smith: Yeah. Well, obviously, so that someone next to her was telling her to do it or at least so she’s claiming on social media. And by the way, what … I’m not quite sure what qualifies someone to be a supermodel anyway but is she like Victoria’s Secret, is she whatever?

Clinton Quan: Oh, I don’t know.

Tom Smith: The media called her a supermodel so …

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: … she’s a supermodel?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: All right. Well …

Clinton Quan: She’s pretty well-known.

Tom Smith: I call Southern California the automotive capital of the world so it is.

Clinton Quan: Yes, it is.

Tom Smith: But you and I have had that conversation …

Clinton Quan: Oh, and definitely is known as the automotive capital of the world.

Tom Smith: You think so?

Clinton Quan: Oh, yeah. No doubt.

Tom Smith: Okay. And we’ve talked about this before but not on mike. So why do you think Southern California is called the automotive capital of the world?

Clinton Quan: Well, I’ll get …

Tom Smith: Or not called, how do you think it’s justified to call it that?

Clinton Quan: Well, this is where most of the major automotive manufacturers have design studios

Tom Smith: And most people don’t know that. That’s why I wanted to get that idea.

Clinton Quan: Nissan in La Jolla. Audi has a design studio out in, what it, the Conejo Valley. General Motors has one in Venice. Toyota has one in Newport Beach and the premier school for automotive designers is in Pasadena Art Center College of design. And not only that, it’s one of the top art schools in the nation.

Tom Smith: Okay. And I …

Clinton Quan: and there’s probably more car shows here in Southern California than anywhere else.

Tom Smith: Which …

Clinton Quan: I can’t imagine it there being more car shows.

Tom Smith: Right.

Clinton Quan: Not only in the U.S. but anywhere else in the world.

Tom Smith: We have the weather for it. We have the cars for it. We have the traffic for it. And actually that’s, you know, I did iDriveSoCal, I … the seed of what it’s become really started from me sitting in traffic, in mind numbing traffic, just literally wanting to blow my brains out. Usually, I’m on some kind of commute to a job or appointment that I wasn’t wanting to be at. So that’s how it came about.

Tom Smith: It was really traffic and then obviously a company called interacts which actually … I don’t know, you probably don’t know this but INRIX, I-N-R-I-X I believe, is owned by Porsche. And it is a automotive and traffic data company. And for the last I think six years, Los Angeles, they measure traffic by many metrics, you know, or yeah, by many metrics but the the last six years I think the longest time spent in traffic congestion is here in Southern California.

Tom Smith: So you’re saying that it’s okay and boy are we off topic here, we are talking about a supermodel dropping the checkered flag early for a Formula One race but … so the design, the traffic, what else qualifies Southern California as the automotive capital in the United States?

Clinton Quan: Well, as I mentioned, the design studios. Another thing I wanted to mention the car museums.

Tom Smith: Oh yeah.

Clinton Quan: We’ve got about 10 car museums here in Southern California.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: And I would say three of them are considered the world’s best.

Tom Smith: Now, I’ve done podcast…

Clinton Quan: If you look at the list of the best car museum …

Tom Smith: And Petersen’s one of them.

Clinton Quan: Petersen, the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard which is only open to about two days a week to the general public.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Fabulous car museum.

Tom Smith: I’m literally taking notes on this folks because I don’t … we haven’t done podcasts with all of these. So Mullin in Oxnard. What else?

Clinton Quan: And the Nethercutt collection and I believe …

Tom Smith: I’ve reached out to them twice. Hey, Nethercutt folks, can I please get a holler back?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, they won … I believe they’ve won Best of Show more than any other private collector.

Tom Smith: That’s … oh, okay.

Clinton Quan: At Pebble Beach which is the most prestigious car show.

Tom Smith: Okay. I gotcha.

Clinton Quan: Yeah,But that is a fantastic car museum and it’s open to the public for free. There’s absolutely no charge, no admission charge and parking is free as well. It’s by reservation only for the original building.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: But that’s only Saturdays … Fridays and Saturdays.

Tom Smith: So that’s three of them. Another one that I’ve done podcasts with Bo Marconi down at … in …

Clinton Quan: Marconi?

Tom Smith: Marconi Automotive Museum.

Clinton Quan: In Tustin?

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: In Tustin? Great place for events.

Tom Smith: Yeah, great place for events. Hey, Bo. How are you doing? Hope everything’s great. I’m looking forward to doing another podcast as your fight night gets coming closer. And also I’ve done a …

Clinton Quan: Automobile Driving Museum.

Tom Smith: Automobile driving museum. That’s a lot of fun.

Clinton Quan: Which is really cool because you actually get to ride in the car.

Tom Smith: That’s the thing.

Clinton Quan: Every Sunday, they bring out three different classic cars. I don’t know of any other museum where they will allow visitors to ride in their car.

Tom Smith: And I know they have a waiting list to become I believe they call it a docent. But they are the trained individuals to take their vehicles on the drive. And I’m surprised that you haven’t applied to be a docent. I could totally see maybe that’s a bit later a later in life thing for you.

Clinton Quan: Yes. Yes.

Tom Smith: When you have a few generations of associate professors.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay. You know what, let’s do this.

Clinton Quan: So there’s literally car museums all over Southern California.

Tom Smith: Right.

Clinton Quan: We talked about something in Ventura County, in North San Fernando Valley.

Tom Smith: There’s an HRRA one?

Clinton Quan: Yeah. So you’ve got one in Pomona, the NHRA Motorsports Museum. There’s a private collection in to work there as well.

Tom Smith: All right. All right. Let’s do this. Let’s do this. So we’re going to do another whole podcast. Next time we get together, we’re going to do a whole … another whole podcast just talking about the various automotive museums.

Clinton Quan: Oh, yeah. That’s great.

Tom Smith: And … but we’ve slid so far off topic on this one. Let’s get back to the what else in your estimation or maybe we’ve come to a conclusion makes Southern California the automotive capital of the United States. And I would then argue the next step, the automotive capital of the world.

Clinton Quan: I would say you see more sports cars …

Tom Smith: Oh, yeah. Kidding me? Oh my God.

Clinton Quan: … luxury cars here than anywhere else and pretty much everywhere you drive, whether you live in the valley like I do or you’re on the west side or downtown or the South Bay or Orange County.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: And where else do you see as many …

Tom Smith: People living in a $2000 apartment, driving a $4000 monthly payments.

Clinton Quan: Absolutely, yes. Absolutely, yes. That’s so true. I’m sure you see more Mercedes, more BMWs, more Audis more Lexus than anywhere else.

Tom Smith: Hands down. I mean I haven’t been everywhere but I know coming from Chicago, it’s like you see a Mercedes or a BMW. It’s like hey, Mercedes or BMW. Here it’s like …

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Every block.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Right?

Clinton Quan: Absolutely, yeah.

Tom Smith: I mean Compton.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, yeah.

Tom Smith: Everywhere. Okay. So back to the checkered flag. Winnie Harlow is her name?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: All right. All is well that ends well I guess. Your boy won the race.

Clinton Quan: Sebastian Vettel one.

Tom Smith: They had a stipulation in the rule book for just such an occurrence and when he’s claiming wardrobe malfunction.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: All in good fun. All in good good.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: All right, Professor. That was a good one. Thank you so much as always. Love our chats and we’ll do it again. For iDriveSoCal, thank you for listening.