Lewis Hamilton wasn't the only one confused about seeing the chequered flag early in China as the FIA has confirmed it was waved early.
Just before the final lap started Hamilton asked his team about seeing the chequered flag come out, but he told him to continue and crossed the finish line a lap later to claim a dominant victory ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg with Fernando Alonso third.
However, an hour after the race finished it was revealed that the chequered flag was in fact shown on the wrong lap and, according to Article 43.2 of the 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".
As a result the result was declared at end of Lap 54/56. Kamui Kobayshi is the only one who misses out as the Caterham driver overtook Marussia's Jules Bianchi on the final for 17th place.
01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 54 1:33:28.338
02 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 54 +18.0 secs
03 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 54 +23.6 secs
04 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 54 +27.1 secs
05 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 54 +47.8 secs
06 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 54 +54.3 secs
07 Valtteri Bottas Williams 54 +55.7 secs
08 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 54 +76.3 secs
09 Sergio Perez Force India 54 +82.6 secs
10 Daniil Kvyat STR 53 +1 Lap
11 Jenson Button McLaren 53 +1 Lap
12 Jean-Eric Vergne STR 53 +1 Lap
13 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 53 +1 Lap
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 53 +1 Lap
15 Felipe Massa Williams 53 +1 Lap
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 53 +1 Lap
17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 53 +1 Lap
18 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 53 +1 Lap
19 Max Chilton Marussia 52 +2 Laps
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 52 +2 Laps
Ret Romain Grosjean Lotus 28 Gearbox
Ret Adrian Sutil Sauber 5 Engine
Hamilton Wins Third Consecutive Race
Gallery: Race Day In China