Esteban Guerrieri has been stripped of his Formula Renault 3.5 victory at Silverstone, handing a maiden series win to Jean-Eric Vergne in only his second weekend in the championship.
ISR driver Guerrieri, whose car was only finished three minutes before the start following a heavy qualifying crash, was a victim of a protest by a rival team for having a small piece of white tape across one side of the nose box and the bodywork covering the dampers.
The disqualification comes as a bitter blow to Guerrieri's title hopes.
A superb drive in Saturday afternoon's opening race of the penultimate round of the season had seemingly put the 25 year-old back into title contention, only 15 points behind leader Mikhail Aleshin, but the gap is now 31 points.
An emotional Guerrieri was furious to see his hard work count for nothing.
"All because of one f*****g piece of tape. Can you believe it?" he said.
"We don't know who put it on the car, but after I had a crash this morning someone put a small strip of tape over a join between the nosebox and the bodywork covering the suspension.
"There should have been pins, but because of the accident this morning it was broken.
"We can't even make an appeal as it is a technical infringement.
"I am going to check the video of the start, just so that I am sure it was on the car at the beginning of the race."
Guerrieri's disqualification gives Tech 1's recent signing Vergne his first FR3.5 win, ahead of Albert Costa and Stefano Coletti.