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Valsecchi gains from Coletti, Palmer penalties
22 July 2012
Having thought he's missed out on his last chance on winning any championship points at Hockenheim following his mid-race spin in Sunday's sprint race, Davide Valsecchi was handed an unexpected two point bonus as a result of penalties handed out to other drivers.
Stewards investigating an incident in which iSport's Jolyon Palmer and Coloni's Stefano Coletti appeared to overtake Josef Kral under local waved yellows for an accident involving Giancarlo Serenelli concluded that both drivers were guilty of a breach of the regulations and would have 20s added to their times in the final result classifications.
Kral has been battling to get past the struggling Nigel Melker with seven laps to go when they arrived at turn 12, where Serenelli had flown off at high speed into the tyre wall just minutes earlier. Yellow flags were still out to indicate track workers were still moving the Venezuela GO Lazarus form the gravel trap.
Heeding the yellow flags Kral backed off from Melker through the corner, checking the Barwa Addax's momentum and allowing Coletti and Palmer to fly past him. Neither of the two drivers was advised to hand the position back to Kral s a result of the confusion, and so the stewards decided on a post-race penalty for the rule breach.
Palmer had finished in seventh place and Coletti had finished just behind in eighth. With the time penalties applied, they fall back to 18th and 19th in the finished results, which boosts Valsecchi up to seventh place and also hands a points finish to Ocean Racing's Nigel Melker.
With Valsecchi's main rival for the 2012 drivers' championship, Luiz Razia, finishing out of the points in the Hockenheim sprint race after a disastrous first lap, the two points Valsecchi gains as a result of the stewards' decisions means that the gap between the two men at the top of the standings is reduced to just 10pts with four race weekends remaining in the season.
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