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Gunther yellow flag violation hands Ilott Formula 3 race one pole

Maximilian Gunther has been stripped of his pole position for the first race of the Formula 3 European Championship round at the Red Bull Ring, handing it to Callum Ilott

Gunther set his pole lap under yellow flags, which came out because Sergio Sette Camara had crashed at the final corner.

The German improved his time in the final sector, where the accident was, meaning that his lap was taken away.

Euro F3 regulations fell into line in 2015 with general FIA rules, meaning that the championship no longer has a black-and-white rule saying that any improvement of a sector time under yellow-flag conditions will result in an automatic penalty.

But Autosport understands that officials can still include this under the umbrella of safety, and they listed it as 'non respection (sic) yellow flags'.

Gunther only loses this lap, and his second-best gives him second on the grid, just 18 thousandths adrift of Ilott.

Prema Powerteam, which runs Gunther, confirmed that it will not appeal the decision.

Three other drivers - George Russell, Niko Kari and Guan Yu Zhou - were also investigated by the stewards for improving their sector times through the yellow-flag zone.

But only Zhou's lap was his best of the session, so no further action was taken towards Russell or Kari.

Zhou's loss of his lap drops him from eighth to 16th in the session classification.

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