Sebastien Buemi believes that the stewards were harsh to hit him with a five-place grid penalty for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver was found guilty of causing a collision with Nick Heidfeld on lap 10 of last Sunday's German Grand Prix after moving over on the Renault driver as they approached the chicane. The contact put Heidfeld out of the race, with Buemi surviving to finish 15th.
But Buemi claims that the TV footage used to make the decision was misleading. He insists that Heidfeld was not alongside him while they were on the power, but only pulled alongside once Buemi was committed to the braking area for the chicane.
"It was a hard penalty," said Buemi when asked what he thought of the decision. "The images from the front are very difficult to understand, because you can't really know where Nick is comparative to my car, especially under braking.
"If you look at some of the side and rear footage, you can understand. I strongly believe that before the braking, he was still behind me. I took my normal line and it was while we were braking that he threw himself into the space. I definitely wasn't expecting him to do this under braking because the chance for him to overtake without contact was very small."
Buemi added that the stewards' interpretation of events was that he moved over on Heidfeld while they were still on the power. But he also accepted that the television images made it difficult for the stewards to see the relative position of the cars.
"The stewards decided something else," said Buemi. "When I looked at the front camera view, I knew it was going to be difficult [in the stewards' hearing] because you don't know where he is [relative to me]. But he was not side by side. The stewards had only the front camera and a side camera where you hardly see anything. They believed that Nick was already alongside before we braked. But I am sure that was not the case."
Heidfeld disagrees with Buemi's version of events, claiming that he could not have avoided the accident.
"I was next to him on the right and he just moved over and there was nowhere to go," said Heidfeld after the race. "So he pushed me on to the grass and there was an accident, that couldn't be avoided with what he did."
Despite the penalty, which is likely to leave the Swiss close to the back of the grid, Buemi is confident that he can still fight his way into contention for points. He expects his STR06 to be competitive enough in the race to clear the cars at the back of the field quickly, leaving him close to where he would have qualified relatively early in the race.
"The penalty is definitely not the best way to start the weekend, but it's not the end of the world," he said. "Kamui Kobayashi started at the back last year and finished in the points.
"Maybe with Pirelli's super-soft and soft tires there might be more degradation. If the degradation is high, it could be more about speed in the race and strategy rather than where you start.
"The guys who are likely to be starting in front of me will be quite easy to overtake. Because of that, I don't think I'll lose too much time."