Force India's Nico Hulkenberg believes pole sitter Lewis Hamilton gained an advantage by cutting the first corner at the start of the Mexican Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg, who qualified an impressive fifth ahead of the two Ferraris, made a quick getaway and to nose ahead of the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo for fourth position.
However, locked brakes and contact between drivers heading through the Turn 1 and 2 sequence saw both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg escape by cutting the second apex. However, while Rosberg was involved in contact with Max Verstappen, Hamilton's trip across the grass was prompted by him locking his brakes.
With stewards not investigating the incident and some feeling the ensuing safety car for a lap one accident in the pack neutralised his advantage anyway, Hulkenberg feels he deserved a punishment for his error.
“Lewis' start thing was very strange. I mean if that's not gaining an advantage then I don't know what is gaining an advantage,” Hulkenberg said.
“Had there been a gravel trap or a wall he would have been in big trouble. I don't know necessarily gravel traps. Maybe something like [cones] we have at other tracks like Sochi or Monza if you go off there you have to go around a certain thing to make you pay the price. Because where he braked there's no way he's going to make the corner.”
“I was surprised certainly afterwards that it wasn't even looked at.”
On a strong weekend for the German driver, Hulkenberg survived a spin whilst battling with Kimi Raikkonen to bring his Force India home in seventh position and crucially ahead of the two Williams drivers. The German credits an increased confidence for his performance on Sunday.
“I feel more comfortable in the car and more on top of the car with the setup. I feel more confident and that's worth so much, basically everything that determines where you are and makes you put in the laps or not. Also in a comfortable situation in regards to my future, so all in all I'm in a good position.”
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