Johnny Herbert is adamant Felipe Massa deserved the penalty he got for his clash with Lewis Hamilton in the Indian Grand Prix.
Ferrari driver Massa was given a drive-through penalty for having made contact with Hamilton when the Briton was trying to overtake. The Brazilian said after the race that he didn't understand why he had been penalized for that.
Herbert, who acted as a steward in India, said Massa deserved the penalty, as he knew Hamilton was beside him but did not leave the Briton enough room.
"The decision to penalize Felipe Massa for his contact with Lewis Hamilton came down to one simple fact – it could have been avoided," Herbert wrote in his column for Britain's The National newspaper. "I know Massa was upset by our decision, but I believe we made the right call. After looking at it from different camera angles and studying all the data available to us, it was clear that Massa knew where Hamilton was before he chose to turn across him.
"There was nothing Hamilton could have done to avoid it. He did try to get out of the move, but it was too late and the contact was made."
Herbert also said Hamilton freely admitted he had made a mistake during practice on Friday, when he was given a three-place penalty for having ignored yellow flags.
"Hamilton was very upfront when he came to see us. He held his hands up and admitted that he had made a mistake," he added.
"Double yellow flags are a serious thing – they indicate danger ahead on track and are a warning for drivers to slow down. Neither Hamilton or Sergio Perez did that. Safety is paramount in motorsport and double yellow flags must be respected – there could be marshals on the track dealing with the problem, and their work is dangerous enough without having cars fly past them at top speed."