Franco Colapinto has lost his Formula 3 sprint race victory in Melbourne after all three MP Motorsport drivers were disqualified for a technical infringement.
Colapinto’s team mate Mari Boya and Jonny Edgar, who finished 9th and 11th respectively, have also been disqualified after parc ferme checks found the MP cars had breached two articles of the technical regulations.
The stewards said that the keel of the bodywork on all three cars was “different in its geometry from the spare parts catalogue and not in conformity with the Dallara User Manual”.
The FIA statement also said the “outer edges of the keel had been modified and in doing so, widened and cut”, which goes against the regulations. The keel “did not conform with the geometry of the authorised part,” the stewards ruled.
The regulations state that minor repairs to bodywork components classified as “type two” may be made, as long as it doesn’t affect an area greater than 150mm. But it was ruled the work spanned more than 150mm “and the geometry was not consistent, both as to the width and the keel edge and its shape.”
The stewards said an MP Motorsport team representative “could not explain how the difference arose.
“He indicated that the keel originally supplied had been repaired by the team but suggested that the repairs had not altered the geometry of the keel supplied by the manufacturer.”
They added: “It is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure that its car confirms with the relevant technical regulations.
“If, as the team suggests, the non-conforming keel was as supplied by the manufacturer, the differences between the approval part as shown in the manual and the keel removed are apparent to the naked eye, and ought to have been recognised by the team.”
MP Motorsport has the right to appeal. The penalty does not affect the starting grid for tomorrow’s feature race, in which championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto will line up in pole position.
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