James Calado will start from the front row in this afternoon's GP3 race at Silverstone, after stewards rescinded the 10-place grid penalty that was issued to him yesterday.
Calado only found out this news 30 seconds before the start of qualifying, during which he set the second fastest time. He had been given the penalty for improving his first sector time in free practice two while there were yellow flags at Abbey. However, the stewards accepted the extenuating circumstances that surrounded this happening.
"Because I had crashed in free practice one, the car's corner weights were not correct in FP2," explained Calado. "On my second, third and fourth laps I went off in sector one, I just couldn't stop the car. On lap five, when the yellows were out, I crawled around Turn 1 30km/h slower than normal, but because I hadn't set a representative time in the sector, my time was still quicker.
"I was so unhappy with the rule, because if you apply it [to the letter] it means that you can lift off by a thousandth of a second and kill a marshal. Once I'd explained my theory, and they examined the evidence, they decided to redeem the penalty, so I'm extremely happy that I'll be starting from the front row."
GP3 championship coordinator Leon Price said: "We want the stewards to take a harsh stance on green sectors under yellow flags, because we had a few problems in the past that we wanted to cut out for safety reasons. The problem here was that, with the distance involved between the paddocks, the stewards didn't have the full story and it took some time for the right decision to be made."