LE CASTELLET, France -- Lewis Hamilton believes Sebastian Vettel's five-second penalty for colliding with Valtteri Bottas was too lenient given the impact the incident had on his teammate's race.
Vettel was attacking Bottas from third on the grid when he went too deep into Turn 1 and made contact with the rear of the Mercedes. The collision forced both drivers to pit, but Bottas had to carry the damage to the rear of his car through the rest of the race while Vettel was able to stop for a replacement front wing.
The Ferrari driver was given a five-second time penalty for the collision, which he served at his second pit stop, but it had no bearing on his final finishing position of fifth. Meanwhile, Bottas struggled to seventh and, given that Mercedes had the pace to secure a one-two finish on Sunday, Hamilton believes the penalty issued to Vettel did not fit the crime.
"For me it's disappointing because for the team we had the chance to get a one-two, and I think that would have been an incredible feeling to get a one-two -- that's the ultimate goal within the team," he said. "Valtteri had really done a solid job all weekend, as he has really been doing this year.
"I mean, we're all going into Turn One as hard as we could -- but yeah, ultimately when someone destroys your race through an error and it's only kind-of a tap on the hand really, and they are allowed to come back and still finish ahead of that person that they took out ... it doesn't weigh up, y'know?
"Ultimately, he shouldn't really be able to finish ahead of him, because he took him out of the race. But, yeah... that's the call they made."
But when Hamilton was asked if he was surprised by the amount of incidents Vettel gets involved in, the Mercedes driver refused to criticise his main championship rival.
"I'm not really going to get into that. Honestly, I know what you're saying but it is really a racing incident in turn one and those things can happen. We're all going into that first corner at great speeds, I mean I went deep and wide because I saw them really close to me so I thought I was going to get rear-ended, to be honest, so I went quite deep.
"No, I don't feel that he's particularly made more mistakes. We're all on the edge, we're fighting for the world championships, we're not pootling around, we're out there putting our lives on the line, we're out there putting the cars as far beyond the edge as we can in the safest manner.
"It's not like a train track, you don't just stay on the rails. Sometimes you can go off. We're only human."