Matthieu Vaxiviere's ten second penalty for exceeding track limits has sparked a debate among the Formula Renault 3.5 drivers after a controversial race one at Le Mans.

Vaxiviere, who was fighting hard to keep his championship hopes alive against race winner Oliver Rowland, was penalised after continually exceeding track limits. Not even the black and white warning flags could prevent the Frenchman from cutting the chicanes during a close battle with Egor Orudzhev. The Russian teenager endured a race long battle with Vaxiviere after losing second place to an illegal manoeuvre.

The ten second time penalty knocked the 20-year-old down to tenth and leaves Rowland just one point away from sealing FR3.5 title victory over the coming three races. Vaxiviere's repeated infringements have frustrated some drivers, including race one podium finishers Rowland and Orudzhev.

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"I was trying to overtake Vaxiviere a couple of times but he would just go inside and cut the corner so he was in second," rookie Orudzhev told gathered press after his podium finish. "The team said that he would probably have to give the position back and they told me that he had a penalty but it didn't make my life any easier."

Rowland agreed, noting that Vaxiviere's moves were illegal and mostly likely the result of an all-or-nothing attitude towards his title contention. After a loss of front wing cost Vaxiviere some pace, the Briton was able to cruise to victory, matching Carlos Sainz's record of seven wins in a single season.

"He was pretty ambitious with track limits, even as he was overtaking me. I put my hand in the air but he continued to take advantage too much but it was what it was," said the current championship leader.

The twenty-three year old was quick to make allowances, however, admitting that many of the 19 drivers on show at Le Mans this weekend have struggled with track limits since first practice on Friday.

"Because you're so close to the limits of the four wheels going off track, you make a mistake and you end up exceeding it. It makes quite difficult," he conceded. "In future, I think Le Mans should look at putting some bollards on the side like we had on Thursday. It does play on your mind, especially in qualifying."

Rowland is now just one point away from winning the FR3.5 title after winning the controversial race in style for Fortec Motorsports. Vaxiviere is yet to personally comment on the issue of track limits within the race.