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Kral loses feature position, gains sprint pole
27 August 2011
Fairuz Fauzy has gained an extra point from the Spa Saturday feature race, but it's a bitter-sweet ruling from the race stewards for the Malaysian as it will cost him pole position in Sunday morning's sprint race.
Instead, Josef Kral is now classified in eighth place, and under reverse grid rules that gives him pole position of the weekend's second GP2 race. But Fauzy will still start alongside him on the front row from second place, which - provided the grid isn't spit into wet/dry halves as happened on Saturday - should still hand Fauzy a good opportunity for a strong sprint result.
The stewards' decision stems from the confused and chaotic period behind the safety car shortly after the heavens opened. The safety car itself had trouble picking up the race leader and navigating through the number of cars having technical problems out on track.
At one point, Fauzy was seen to overtake Kral under the yellow flag conditions, and Super Nova were advised by race control that Fauzy should hand back the place or risk being served a drive-thru penalty.
Fauzy immediately complied, and went on to finish the race immediately behind the Arden car in eighth position.
However, upon review, the stewards saw that Kral was going so slowly at the time that he was overtaken that they judged it reasonable for Fauzy to have assumed that the car had slowed "with an obvious problem" and was potentially no longer viable, and that to continue to maintain position behind it would lead to greater risk for the field as a whole in the conditions.
As a result, the stewards decided that their advice to Super Nova and Fauzy for him to hand back the position during the race had not been correct, and that to ensure that the driver and team were not penalised for their prompt compliance with the original advice from race control it was appropriate for the two drivers' finishing positions to be reversed.
Fauzy is now listed as finishing in seventh place and wins 2pts, while Kral finished in eighth place and loses a point but gains pole position for the Sunday sprint race by way of compensation.
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