Giorgio Pantano was not the only driver to feel the wrath of the stewards at GP2's Spa-Francorchamps round, as the hapless Andreas Zuber was denied his podium finish after failing scrutineering.
The UAE-based Austrian battled his way to third place in an incident-filled feature race, but was later disqualified when unauthorised repairs were found on his Piquet Sports Dallara. To make matters worse, third place now goes to team-mate Pastor Maldonado, with whom Zuber had another heated battle.
Prior to learning about his exclusion, the Austrian had conquered difficult conditions, benefiting from the tactical decision to call him in as early as possible for slick tyres as a wet track dried in the opening laps.
“You can't overtake as easily at a rolling start, but it surely was the right decision since it simply was safer as it still was raining," he said of the safety car start, "We had a very good strategy for the race, and the early pit-stop also paid off due to the changing conditions.”
The 24-year old reckoned he could have been even further up the podium but claimed that his progress was hampered by an engine that 'isn't performing very well at the moment'.
"I have grave problems, especially concerning the top speed," he revealed, "This affected mostly the passage after Eau Rouge, where it goes uphill. There, Grosjean and Maldonado passed me as if I were standing still. But one could nevertheless see that I'm in good shape, since I managed to keep Pastor behind me in the end.”
The battle with his Piquet Sports team-mate again appeared to irk Zuber, who felt that the aggressive Venezuelan was taking too many risks as the pair swapped positions in the final two laps after the final safety car period.
“All in all, these were completely normal racing duels with my team partner - only the last one, just before the finish, was unnecessary," he reflected, "If I hadn't looked out, it could have ended badly.”
It was all in vain, however, for the post-race penalty demotes Zuber to the back of the grid for Sunday morning's sprint event, and hands the reversed grid pole to DAMS' Jérôme d'Ambrosio, who now has the chance to claim victory on his home circuit.