Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has waded into the debate about whether or not Lewis Hamilton’s penalty was sufficient enough following his collision with Max verstappen during the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton was given a ten-second time penalty for causing a collision, but still went on to win the race, whilst Verstappen ended up in hospital and his championship lead cut to just eight points.
Whilst a number of drivers, including Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo have sided with Hamilton, claiming it was just a racing incident, Red Bull and a handful of former drivers believe the sanction was too lenient.
Red Bull’s Helmut Marko and Verstappen’s father, Jos, believe Hamilton should face a race suspension for the severity of the collision, which happened at one of the fastest corners on the Silverstone circuit, but the FIA’s Michael Masi explained that the outcome isn’t taken into account, only the contact itself.
Ecclestone has a mixed view of the clash, believing that it wouldn’t have warranted a penalty during his time, but if the stewards felt it needed to be punished, then it should have been a more severe penalty than just ten seconds.
“In the old days we would have said it was one of those things, a racing incident,” he told Sportsmail. “It was clear that [both parties] were doing their best to win the championship.
“If you have to give a sanction, which in some ways they didn’t need to, this was not the right decision – it wasn’t enough.
“If the stewards needed to get involved then they should have given Lewis more than a 10-second penalty. It should have been 30 seconds,” added the 90-year-old.
“Lewis was not in front at the point they collided. It wasn’t his corner. He was almost a car’s length behind. That’s why he hit him at the back not the front.
“Ten seconds was not right. The punishment did not fit the crime.”