Pastor Maldonado has criticized the inconsistency of punishments doled out by the stewards at grand prix meetings following his 10-place grid penalty for colliding with Sergio Perez during final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Spanish Grand Prix winner insists that his contact with the Sauber driver on the run in to Portier was not deliberate, despite appearing to swipe in front of the Mexican, and was in fact the result of a mistake on cold tires.
With no apparent damage to either car, Maldonado questioned whether his punishment should have been bigger than that of Michael Schumacher's in Spain, where the Mercedes driver crashed into Bruno Senna, causing both cars to retire from the grand prix.
"If you remember Schumacher in the last race, he damaged the race of Bruno, my teammate," said Maldonado. "And he got only five places.
"I did nearly nothing, it was just a little touch, because of the condition of the track... it is a very narrow track, I lost the car, maybe I could have backed off a little bit but I was trying to not get traffic on my best lap. So it's a difficult to say. It's very inconsistent, but that's the reality."
Maldonado said the accident occurred because he lost rear grip on cold tyres, on his out lap on the supersofts, and the car swerved when the grip returned.
"I was trying overtake him and I lost the car," he said. "Maybe I was too optimistic on the throttle on cold tires, because it was my first lap with a new option and I was trying to recover the car, it got too much grip and I touched his front left wheel. That's it.
"It's disappointing for the penalty, because it was quite big for what happened, but this is the rules."
Maldonado will start 24th on the grid for Sunday's race (taking into account his five-place penalty for a gearbox change), and while he accepts his race has been compromised, he has not given up on a points finish.
"Tomorrow is going to be a tough race, but for sure we have a good car," he said. "I think everybody saw in qualifying that we were close to the top.
"I will do my best tomorrow and everything is possible here on this track. For the strategy I'm quite confident. I know very well the track. I have great confidence and the most important thing is that we show that Williams is working hard and is now very close to the top.
"Tomorrow we are looking for the points," he added. "It is going to be very tough, but I will have the pace, which is good and consistent. We have tyres. We have everything to be there. And we are quick on the middle stint so it depends on the race, it depends if we will have some safety car. These kind of races are difficult to plan for. You need to be ready and to react to any conditions."