Valtteri Bottas' vehicle was quickly turned around by adjacent McLaren technicians, allowing him to return to the track, but the McLaren team manager quickly filed a protest with FIA race director Michael Masi, calling the situation "ridiculous".
Bottas was penalised three places on the grid for reckless driving, with the Finn claiming that he tried to pull away in second gear to reduce wheelspin.
Bottas dominated Mercedes' qualifying attempts on Saturday, finishing second in Q3 ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, due to his penalty, he will start fifth on the grid.
When asked about the stewards' ruling, Bottas said he did not expect such a severe punishment, but he recognised the competitive advantage that competitors seek in such scenarios.
Post-qualifying, Bottas comments, "My personal view, it's quite harsh."
He continues, "I never imagined after that that there would be a penalty. But of course, other teams when there's equal opportunity, they complain that it's dangerous so we would get penalised."
He adds, "That's how it goes. Everyone is always trying to screw you over in this sport. For sure, it can be a dangerous situation if there are many people in the pitlane."
Mercedes' effort to get away in second gear was part of a strategy to minimise wheelspin entering the pits after it was identified as a factor in the time lost to Max Verstappen in France last Sunday.
Bottas confessed that the spin "certainly took me off guard" and that he "never anticipated it would happen in the pitlane," noting that keeping control in second gear was more difficult.
Bottas concludes, "We decided to try something different, launch with the second gear. Sometimes with a higher gear you have lower revs, and maybe you can manage to wheelspin but the initial part is not so aggressive. But then once I got the wheelspin, it really caught me out. I don't know, perhaps the line on the pitlane was still slightly damp from the drizzle. I just couldn't hold it. Obviously quite a different behaviour for second gear than first gear. So that happened."