The number of penalties against drivers increased during the last few races, between Austria and the UK, in fact there's been more to discuss about the kind of penalties given by the stewards and whether they were correct or not, than about the Grand Prix itself.
A situation exacerbated by the Silverstone accident between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, condemned by some and, perhaps, overrated by others. Ecclestone expressed himself on the matter saying that the English driver deserved a 30-second penalty, instead of the 10 seconds one that he suffered, Michael Masi on the other hand explained that:
"Lewis was not seen as the only culprit, but as the main culprit because he could have stayed closer to the curb and be more ahead of where he was at the moment of contact. If he had done so, perhaps he could have changed the outcome of that curve. But we don't know. Let's judge what happened."
However, during the British GP, Hamilton wasn't the only driver to receive a penalty. George Russell was also punished at his home GP, in the Sprint Qualifying race on Saturday.
The young Williams driver suffered three positions on the grid due to a contact with Carlos Sainz. All this insistence on the application of sanctions, however, seems to worry Russell who has carried on a discussion with the stewards on the subject.
“That's what we were arguing," - he said to Motorsport.com - “Rubbin's racing, as they say, I think it's always good for the fans and even for the drivers to have close, hard racing."
“So I think when there's so many penalties being dished out, it does change the views of the drivers slightly, how you approach it, and nobody wants to sit there and everybody be cautious, because it won't be entertaining for anyone.”
“I thought it was a little bit harsh," - he added - "It was one of those first lap incidents really, lots going on. You know, I had a little small lock-up, there was nothing malicious, I wasn't trying to squeeze him or anything. And I think if it was any other corner, he'd have just carried on, potentially even in front of me. So we're told that the consequences of an action is never taken into consideration."
“But it felt like in this instance it was. But I respect the decision. At the end of the day they’re the rule makers, so we’ve got to stand by their views.” he continued.
Asked if the stewards are generally being more meticulous and harsh in this 2021 season, he said: “Well, it's only in the last two events where penalties really ramped off. None of us want to see penalties dished out week in, week out."
"So yeah, we need to understand their views on this. It's always fine margins between whether it's a penalty or not. And maybe it's just a coincidence these last two races that there's been more than normal.”