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GP2 Sochi: Penalty strips Leal of Sunday sprint pole

Carlin's Julian Leal has lost his pole position start for Sunday morning's sprint race after being handed a penalty by race stewards.
Julian Leal has been demoted one position by race stewards after the end of Saturday's feature race, which also means that the 24-year-old Colombian driver will not start Sunday's sprint race from pole position as expected.

Leal had finished in eighth position at the end of the 28-lap feature event after a last lap move on MP Motorsport's Marco Sorensen. Under the reverse grid rules used to set the starting order for the second race of the season, this would have ensured Leal pole position for the second race of the weekend at Sochi Autodrom.

However, the incident in which Leal passed Sorensen on the final lap was subsequently reviewed by the race stewards, which found that Leal was responsible for a collision between the two cars at the final corner. As a result, the stewards reset their relative order and handed Sorensen eighth place and demoted the Carlin driver to ninth.

That means Sorensen will now get the opportunity to lead the field away from the grid on Sunday at the start of the 21-lap sprint race, with Trident's Sergio Canamasas alongside him on the front row of the grid. Leal will now have to try to advance from row five, just behind newly crowned GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer who will take the green flag in eighth place.

Palmer's DAMS team mate Stephane Richelmi was also invited to the race stewards' office to discuss an incident where he gained a racing advantage by exceeding the track limits at turn 3.

Richelmi was subsequently handed a drive-thru penalty for the offence, which because the race was already completed was adjusted to a 20 second addition to his time, dropping him down from 17th to 22nd position in the final feature race results and for Sunday's sprint race grid.

There were no post-race penalties announced for the GP3 race that had been held earlier in the day.

Revised Sunday sprint starting grid

1. Marco Sorensen MP Motorsport
2. Sergio Canamasas Trident
3. André Negrao Arden International
4. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix
5. Arthur Pic Campos Racing
6. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering
7. Mitch Evans Russian Time
8. Jolyon Palmer DAMS
9. Julian Leal * Carlin
10. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus
11. Pierre Gasly EQ8 Caterham Racing
12. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport
13. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing
14. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport
15. Simon Trummer Rapax
16. Artem Markelov Russian Time
17. Felipe Nasr Carlin
18. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing
19. Johnny Cecotto Jr. Trident
20. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix
21. Tio Ellinas Rapax
22. Stéphane Richelmi ** DAMS
23. Rene Binder Arden International
24. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport
25. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering
26. Sergio Campana Venezuela GP Lazarus

* Penalised one place for causing a collision
** 20 second penalty in lieu of drive-thru for exceeding track limits

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Julian Leal (COL, Carlin) in action at Monaco in qualifying. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto - Trident Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Luca Ghiotto - Trident Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing
Sergio Canamasas - Carlin
Alex Lynn - DAMS
Alex Lynn - DAMS
Sergey Sirotkin - ART Grand Prix
Sergey Sirotkin - ART Grand Prix
Sergey Sirotkin - ART Grand Prix
Pierre Gasly - Prema Racing
Norman Nato - Racing Engineering
Pierre Gasly - Prema Racing

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