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Christian Vietoris keeps Spa GP2 pole despite yellow flag query

Christian VietorisChristian Vietoris has kept his GP2 pole position at Spa despite setting a personal best sector time under yellow flags on his fastest lap.

Vietoris took pole by 1.4 seconds in Friday afternoon's rain-hit session. But his position was in doubt because he improved his time in the final sector while yellow flags were out for Charles Pic's stricken car on the exit of Blanchimont.

The Racing Engineering driver claimed that he lifted off when he saw the flag, and he put his improved time in that sector down to improving track conditions.

"I backed off quite a lot," said Vietoris. "The data shows that I was much slower on that lap through the corner where the yellow flag was. I can't do more than that."

Vietoris hoped after the session that the stewards would look at the area where the yellow flag was out in isolation, which he believes they claimed they would do prior to qualifying. And after being called to speak to the officials, he was cleared of any wrong-doing.

"In the drivers' briefing they told us that each sector would be broken up into mini sectors to judge yellow flags, because the track is so long," he added. "I backed off where I was supposed to, so it's all fine."

Second place qualifier Luca Filippi, who was also on a hot lap when the yellow flag came out, backed off significantly, following instructions from his team. The Italian accepted the decision, even if in his opinion Vietoris 'got away with it'.

"I'm disappointed," Filippi told AUTOSPORT. "We agreed the rule change about the mini sectors, but really that was for sector two which is one minute long. Sectors one and three are like those on any other track, so we should have been specific. But it's okay.

"Also, in slower corners you don't need to back off much to make it a safe speed to pass an incident. When you are in a fast corner like Blanchimont, to make it safe you should need to back off more."

Davide Valsecchi was the only driver penalised for a yellow flag infringement. The Italian qualified 21st, but has been put to the back.

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