Former Formula 1 driver and active race steward Mark Blundell believes Sebastian Vettel escaped with a "slap on the wrist" as the FIA chose not to further punish the Ferrari driver for his deliberate Baku clash with Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel was handed a ten-second stop and go penalty for deliberately driving into Hamilton, but was then called before the FIA to determine whether his actions warranted further punishment.
Many within the paddock believed the most likely outcome would have been disqualification from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but the FIA chose not take further action – other than demanding Vettel spend time educating younger drivers on the dangers of such actions.
Blundell believes the penalty wasn't "harsh enough" and sends the wrong message to other drivers who will now think all it takes is a public apology to avoid further punishment.
"If I'm brutally honest, I didn't think the penalty was harsh enough," Blundell told Sky Sports. "I looked at what went on and I understood a bit of the gamesmanship. What I didn't understand was the retaliation.
Related: Vettel apologises to Hamilton, FIA and fans for 'overreacting' in Baku clash
"I think what Vettel did was uncalled for, unnecessary, and I don't understand the FIA saying he's got to go and educate young drivers.
"Every young driver that I know of was watching that Grand Prix and what they've seen happen, and now what they've seen as the consequence after, doesn't stack up. I've got a little bit of an issue with it I've got to admit.
"[It suggests] you can do anything you want on the circuit and all you will get is a slap on the wrist. It's wrong."
Putting his racer head on, Blundell admitted he can understand why some drivers take such actions, but Vettel's incident was conducted under Safety Car conditions and was therefore "acceptable" and should have warranted further sanctions.
"This is me talking as a former F1 driver," added the Le Mans winner. "I understand the heat of the moment, I understand when you're in the race. But the fact of the matter is the race under the Safety Car so it wasn't actually 'on' at that point. It's not acceptable and I think there needs to be more done.
"He's a four-time world champion and a role model. You can't go around doing that."