Carlin's Jolyon Palmer has criticised marshalls and stewards officiating in the GP2 Series, after he was handed a big cash fine at Silverstone for remonstrating with another driver post-race.

Palmer had an eventful time of it in the Sunday sprint race, first being run into by DAMS driver Stephane Richelmi at the start and then colliding with the already-lapped Caterham of Sergio Canamasas mid-race which ended his comeback charge.

"I had already passed him earlier in the race and he put in a dangerous swerve which ultimately cost him his front wing and a lap as he made contact with Rene Binder," explained Palmer, writing in his blog for the Sky Sports F1 website.

"As I came up behind him the second time there were no blue flags, but even so he would have known he was a lap down but still set about defending hard from me and heavily compromising my race to battle back to the points," he wrote. "I managed to get a good run on him coming into Brooklands and went for the inside without locking up in a simple manoeuvre. Whilst clearly ahead of him, he turned sharp left into me, puncturing my front right tyre which meant I couldn't turn, locked up and went straight on."

Palmer rejected Canamasas' defence that he hadn't seen the Carlin making a move until too late, pointing out that the Caterham had clearly seen him well enough to attempt the block despite being a lap down. The Spanish driver was duly handed a ten-second stop-go penalty by race stewards for causing the collision, but as Palmer pointed out this was effectively no penalty at all for Canamasas who simply remained a lap down.

"I can honestly say that in my eight years of car racing I have never raced anyone who has pulled off such a stupid manoeuvre on me," fumed Palmer. "At GP2 level it was shocking, firstly that he did it and secondly that he effectively received no punishment for it."

Palmer admitted that he was "seething" and sought out Canamasas away from the TV cameras after the race to let him know how he felt "in no uncertain terms." An hour later, Palmer received a summons to report to the stewards, and was startled to find that a marshall had reported his frank discussion with Camamasas "for showing some aggression" to his fellow competitor.

"I was both amazed and appalled to hear that it was actually me under investigation," wrote Palmer. "After explaining to the stewards exactly what had happened, completely honestly from my perspective, I was hit with a 12,000 euro fine and told I was lucky to have not been given a race ban.

"It's difficult to accept a fine like this for a small reaction to a disgraceful bit of driving," he continued. "Either the stewards thought that the incident was a lot worse than it was or they were misguided by the reports they had. Canamasas escaped penalty, Richelmi escaped a penalty and I was hit with a big fine," he added. "I actually don't have a problem with the penalty itself although it is strange that I haven't seen one like this before."

Palmer also highlighted the inconsistent way that penalties were being enacted. The Briton lost a podium place in Barcelona after he was handed a post-race 20 second penalty in lieu of a drive-thru for hitting Sam Bird late in the race, a penalty which dropped him to tenth place in the final classified results and for the start of the following day's sprint race.

But at Silverstone, Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer was also deemed to have caused a late-race collision with Rapax's Stefano Coletti and handed a post-race penalty. However in this case Leimer was allowed to retain his fourth place finish and the penalty was instead imposed purely as a ten-place sprint race grid penalty.

"I was thrown off the podium in Barcelona for an incident which was certainly not worse," he said. "If I had had the same penalty as Leimer I would have been 14 points better off, albeit six places further down the starting grid for the Sunday."

Palmer isn't the first person to raise complaints about the current standard of officiating in GP2. Having escaped sanction for some incidents early in the season, Arden's Johnny Cecotto Jr. was later handed a one-race ban at Monaco for what many thought was a much more marginal racing incident at the start of the feature race.

"Overall as you might have gathered I feel very hard done by by the stewards," Palmer summed up. "The penalties at the moment seem hugely inconsistent and disproportionate."


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