Out-going world champion Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that penalties - and disputes over them - will always be a part of Formula One simply because thee is so much on the line for its participants.

Speaking in the wake of the controversy surrounding the punishments handed out to Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa and the Brazilian's title rival, Lewis Hamilton, in Japan last weekend - and with criticism continuing to swirl around the Briton's driving standards - Raikkonen insisted that continuing to discuss the issue was unlikely to solve anything as there would always be multiple sides to the argument.

"I haven't been hurt too badly by any [penalties] but, sometimes, it is difficult to say [whether they are justified or not]," the Finn commented, "Everybody has their own opinions whether it is right or wrong, and that is always going to be the case. Some like it, some not - for me, it is okay - but whatever we say is not going to change much, so there is no point to put too much input in."

Raikkonen did concede, however, that new drivers were ever going to make such a perilous move as to put anyone at risk.

"It is a dangerous sport so, when you race against somebody, you try to make sure that, first of all, you want to get round him and not crash into him because it's not going to help you or him," he explained, "But, sometimes, you get it wrong. When you push on the limit, and both guys try to go as fast as possible in a corner and not try to let the other guy past, sometimes you end up hitting each other - and that's racing.

"The rules are quite tight. Sometimes you get penalised, sometimes not, but, as I said, there are always many different views of the same incidents or the same situations. There is always going to be talk about penalties and stuff, but that's unfortunately going to be a big part of Formula One. It's not always best for the sport, but we're here to race and try to get past people. Sometimes, you get penalties out of it, even when you don't think it's right, but that's how it goes."

Raikkonen could have been speaking from experience, having gone wheel-to-wheel with BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica several times during last weekend's race at Fuji in jus the circumstances that he was describing. On that occasion, however, there was no contact between the pair, and Kubica survived to hold on to second place.

The Pole consequently had little to complain about after the race, unlike the days leading up to it, when he launched into another attack on former karting rival Hamilton. Whether determined to prove Kubica wrong, or simply too fired up after fluffing the start from pole, Hamilton caused a fracas at turn one of the Japanese Grand Prix, delaying himself, Massa and Raikkonen amongst others.

The Briton received a drive-thru' penalty for the incident which removed any chance he had of adding to his points tally, but the incident only served to hasten his rivals' eagerness to discuss the matter with him.

"I think there is nothing more to comment [publicly] on," Kubica noted when cornered on the issue during Thursday's media call in Shanghai, "When one driver is overtaking another and crossing his line just in front of his wheel, it's quite dangerous, especially if someone behind has to lift off. I have been involved in an accident in a similar situation in Canada and I know what it means when a front wheel hits a rear wheel. From my point of view, it's quite dangerous.

"I just say this: while nothing happens, everything is fine but, if something happens, then I think everyone will realise. That's all. We haven't spoken. I didn't make a comment about Lewis, I just said that, overall, these kind of moves are pretty dangerous, especially in wet conditions. That's all."

"That's Lewis, that is his personality," added Massa, quoted by F1SA, "to be aggressive and always over-confident. That is true.

"It doesn't mean that he cannot be good, cannot be competitive or cannot be strong because of that. Everybody knows that he is very strong and these things [earned] him a lot of points."

Grand Prix Drivers' Association board member Mark Webber has said that the matter will be raised during drivers' meetings this weekend, but Hamilton remains unbowed by the fact that he picked up another penalty at Fuji, his sixth of the season for various misdemeanours, including cutting chicanes and gaining an advantage at both Magny-Cours and Spa-Francorchamps.

"We both had penalties, Felipe and I, but that is motor racing," he insisted, "You move forward and try to avoid it in the future. It doesn't affect your driving."

Former McLaren nemesis Fernando Alonso sided with Raikkonen's belief that penalties would never be universally accepted.

"It is the same as always," he commented, "We probably believe that there are too many penalties because, sometimes, the races are decided by the stewards. Sometimes they are wrong, sometimes they are fair."