European F3 Spa: Fittipaldi and MacLeod excluded from qualifying

Sam MacLeod and Pietro Fittipaldi have lost their third-row starting positions for the second and third races of the Formula 3 European Championship round at Spa

European F3 Spa: Fittipaldi and MacLeod excluded from qualifying

MacLeod's Motopark Dallara-Volkswagen and Fittipaldi's Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes were both excluded from the session after failing scrutineering, and the drivers will have to start both races from the back of the grid.

MacLeod's car failed the vacuum test, concerning the control of airflow to the engine.

"I think there was a crack in the airbox," he said, "and because of the cold conditions it got worse and worse, although there was definitely no performance advantage."

Fittipaldi's car did not yield the required 1kg of fuel for a sample.

Fortec team manager Trevor Foster explained: "It's nothing we could put our finger on other than a build-up of margins - unfortunately we were just a bit too marginal on our call on fuel."

This was possibly exacerbated due to the extended wait before qualifying started due to stoppages in preceding sessions, as well as the first red flag of the F3 session.

"We were sitting around and there was one too many fire-ups," continued Foster. "They got enough fuel out to do a sample, but the regulations state they must be able to draw out a kilo.

"The car wasn't underweight, even when drained of fuel, but we've got to take it on the chin."

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