Former Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer believes that the stewards were justified in giving Esteban Ocon a penalty in Monaco for his collision with Sir Lewis Hamilton.
In the opening stages of the rain-affected race on Sunday, Hamilton moved to the inside of the Frenchman as they head up to Sainte-Devote, and they made contact as they head towards the apex.
The stewards ruled that the 25-year-old had moved across on the seven-time champion, so awarded him a five-second penalty.
Ocon finished ninth on track, but this became P12 when his penalty was applied, leading him to accuse the stewards of “favouritism on the radio after the race.
In the media pen, the Alpine driver divulged that the stewards told him of a slight tweak to their philosophy this year in that the incident Ocon had with Hamilton would have been a racing incident last year.
This was clearly a revelation to him.
“We were racing well until we got that five-second penalty which is not really justified unfortunately,” he told Sky Sports.
“So yeah, [I’m] very frustrated with that because it ruined our result of today’s race but that’s how it is.
“I went to review [the incident] with the stewards and they said if this was last year it could have been a racing incident so I don’t know what really has changed this year.
“If you want to overtake in Monaco there has to be some kind of contact because there’s no space to do so, so Lewis was quicker behind with the other tyres.
“We are racing hard, for sure, but we are racing for position, and we are racing at the end again so today it was fair racing.
“A bit of contact for sure but we didn’t suffer any of us so it is very disappointing and I’m pretty frustrated.”
Palmer sat down with fellow former driver Felipe Massa to review the incident, and the Briton notes that Ocon might have left more room given that Hamilton already had his nose alongside.
“I think he should have left him a bit of space,” he said.
“Overtaking here anywhere is so difficult, when someone is getting alongside you, I think it’s only fair that you then leave the space and he didn’t, turned in, took the apex kerb in fact, you can’t be turning in for the apex kerb when there is a car on your inside.
“So, I think that one was quite a fair penalty.”
Massa understands that the 25-year-old did not want to lose track position at a circuit where it is so difficult to get it back, but ultimately agrees that he caused an avoidable collision.
“Yeah you are in Monaco, you don’t want to lose the space, because you are in the front but you are much slower than the car behind,” stated the Brazilian.
“But I agree, I think he deserved the penalty and lost some points, which is quite a shame.”
Ocon’s team-mate Fernando Alonso scored his third points finish of the season in seventh, while the other Mercedes of George Russell continued his run of top-five finishes by taking P5 ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris.