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Villeneuve: Biased stewards punished Raikkonen because it was Hamilton

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Had Kimi Raikkonen hit Valtteri Bottas instead of Lewis Hamilton on the opening of last Sunday's British Grand Prix, the Finn's penalty would have been less severe, says Jacques Villeneuve.

Raikkonen was handed a 10-second penalty at Silverstone for his contact with Hamilton while Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel had received a 5-second punishment for a similar collision with Valtteri Bottas at the French Grand Prix last month.

Villeneuve picked apart the FIA stewards for their inconsistency and circumstantial calls.

"I don't understand why it's 10 seconds, and another time it's five, sometimes it's nothing," Villeneuve told Autosport.

"That's what's wrong. It's racing. I don't like it when there are racing penalties, it should be for dirty driving, which is a different thing, or stupid driving.

"They decided that it's Lewis, we're in the UK, he's fighting for the championship, that's worth 10 seconds," he added.

"If it had been Bottas, it would have been five seconds, that's the thing."

As he underscored the steward's contradictory calls, the 1997 world champion also noted that Max Verstappen had been given a free pass in Austria recently when the Red Bull driver made contact with Raikkonen and forced his way ahead of the Ferrari on the opening lap.

"Sometimes you see things like Verstappen in Austria, when he touched Kimi," said the Canadian.

"Why wasn't that a penalty? Just because Kimi didn't go off? If Kimi had gone off, then it would have been a penalty?

"That's what's wrong, it's the action that matters, not what happens after the action, ultimately."

Villeneuve also believes that Hamilton's first lap set-back, and the altered tyre strategy it induced, may have ultimately helped the Mercedes driver's cause.

"Without them crashing into each other he would have been running third the whole race, not having people moving out of the way to let him by, he would have destroyed his tyres," contended Villeneuve.

"That ended up working out, because he was the later one to pit, so he was the one who at the end had tyres that were still OK compared to Bottas.

"He finished second after a crappy start, so he should be happy with that, because he wasn't going to win this race. Nothing to complain about."

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