FIA race director Charlie Whiting says Formula 1 race stewards' decisions are made without weighing up the impact of each incident and Sebastian Vettel’s five-second time penalty for clashing with Valtteri Bottas was in line with previous decisions.

Vettel locked up his rears and slid into Bottas at the first turn in the French Grand Prix, which saw both drivers pick up sustained damage, while the Ferrari driver was held responsible for the accident and given a five-second time penalty.

Depsite serving his penalty, Vettel still finished the race at Paul Ricard ahead of Bottas with the Germnan in fifth place ahead of the Mercedes driver in seventh place at the chequered flag.

Whiting says the penalty was consistent with other incidents from earlier this season, with Romain Grosjean was also handed the same penalty for clashing Esteban Ocon at the start of the race, and the follow-on from clashes aren’t considered by race stewards.

French GP - Driver Ratings

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“They [F1 race stewards] had four options open to them,” Whiting said. “A five-second penalty, 10-second penalty, drive through penalty or stop and go penalty.

“They obviously chose the five second penalty which was consistent with other incidents of that sort but if you look at the consequences of the incident then maybe one could think differently. Stewards tend not to do that.”

Hamilton says Vettel’s penalty was “a tap on the hand” as he felt Mercedes were denied a possible 1-2 finish in the French GP while the German fully accepted his fault in the incident.



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