Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said the stewards’ ruling on Nico Hulkenberg during the race was “very harsh”.
Hulkenberg was ordered to give a position to Sergio Perez after putting all four wheels off the track while racing for position with the McLaren driver and Pastor Maldonado.
“He did not gain an advantage, but merely avoided a collision by leaving the track,” said Kaltenborn. “However, we have to accept this decision.”
Hulkenberg was also bemused by the stewards’ ruling on what he described as a “racing situation”.
“In the end, I did have to give back the position to him and I don’t quite agree with that. There was a Williams in the fight as well, Sergio was on the inside, but I had to leave space and caught the outer kerb. Then my car bottomed and I was off, however, I was in front of Sergio before and after the corner.”
Hulkenberg ended the race behind Perez in ninth place as both drivers avoided making a pit stop following the Safety Car period. Both were passed by several of their rivals.
“At the end, it was a pure fight for survival, because the tires were pretty much gone,” said Hulkenberg. “Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber were all on fresh tires and I simply had to focus on staying on track and finishing the race.”