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'Hamilton deserved penalty for Verstappen incident'

'Hamilton deserved penalty for Verstappen incident'

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'Hamilton deserved penalty for Verstappen incident'

'Hamilton deserved penalty for Verstappen incident'

Lewis Hamilton ought to have been punished for his practice incident with Max Verstappen at Paul Ricard, according to Red Bull chief Dr Helmut Marko. Although Marko holds the personal belief that Hamilton did not deserve to be punished, he says a precedent was set by Sebastian Vettel's penalty in Canada a fortnight ago.

Hamilton caught a big slide into Turn three during Friday's second practice section, wiping out a bollard and coming to a rest just off the track. As he came back onto the circuit, Verstappen had to take evasive action on a flying lap, eventually going wide himself.

The stewards said that the incident did not warrant a penalty, with both drivers seemingly agreeing the situation was not unduly dangerous.

However, with Vettel having lost victory in Canada, to Hamilton, as a result of a similar incident a fortnight prior – a decision which was only confirmed on Friday in France – Marko believes inconsistency is at play.

"Max thought Hamilton had not seen him, so he went wide to be sure. He also didn't complain about Hamilton's action," Marko told Austrian television before the decision was announced.

VIDEO: Did Hamilton rejoin unsafely ahead of Verstappen?Read more

"For me this is not a fact for which a punishment should be imposed.

"Somehow there will have to be a consequence. If we continue the line of Canada, Hamilton might even get a grid penalty for this.

"But we don't blame Hamilton. It is purely the rules and the interpretation of the stewards. If they are consistent, there must be a penalty now. That's how the rules dictate. "

Hamilton was ultimately second-quickest in FP2, despite his spin and a consequent engine issue, with Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas on top.

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