The grids for Sunday’s two FIA F3 European Championship races at Zandvoort have been vastly shuffled, after half the field was retroactively penalised for speeding under yellow flags in Saturday’s qualifying session.
The stewards of the meeting spent hours last night deliberating over the events of a confused final minute of qualifying, triggered by a spin from David Beckmann that brought out the yellow flags in sector two just as drivers kept throwing in their fastest laps.
A final decision on the matter has now been made, with the stewards finding that a full ten drivers – including Joel as well as main championship rivals Lando Norris and Maximilian Günther – had failed to slow sufficiently as they passed Beckmann’s stranded car.
A host of penalties have been handed out, with the relevant drivers having their best or second-best lap times deleted and dropping two places on the respective grids.
Among the more notable consequences is a change at the front of the grid for Race 2, with Norris losing pole and dropping to third. Callum Ilott will instead lead the pack when the lights go out this morning.
Unfortunately, Joel is one of those most severely affected. Having set two near-identical lap times in qualifying, he had originally sealed tenth and sixth place respectively for today’s races, but with his best lap now deleted, that will instead leave him P13/P13. This is because his third-quickest time, which is now effectively used as his Race 3-qualifier, was a full six tenths slower (set on a warm-up lap).
Race 2 gets underway at 11.05 local time.