Three-time F1 race winner Johnny Herbert believes Lewis Hamilton is a "role model" and should have known better than to cross the track unsafely during the Qatar Grand Prix.
The FIA said it would be revisiting Hamilton's conduct following his first corner crash with George Russell, after which the seven-time World Champion crossed the track to return to the pits.
Initially, the stewards gave him a reprimand and a $50,000 fine, half of which was suspended for the rest of 2023, but there was concerns over the optics of Hamilton breaching a serious safety rule and the effects it could have on younger drivers.
This prompted the FIA to look once again at the sanctions handed out against the British driver - with sometime steward Herbert believing Hamilton should have known better.
Viewed by others:
Herbert: Even a seven-time World Champion makes mistakes
"Lewis Hamilton is definitely a role model. However, walking across the track was the wrong thing to do," Herbert told Lucky Block.
"The criticisms levelled against him for the accident with Russell going into Turn 1 was not fair, that was part of racing.
"He only needed to give another six inches for it to be absolutely fine, but his judgment was not quite there."
Herbert - who is a former FIA driver steward - believes more leniency should be made towards drivers, to ensure that positions are sorted during battles on track rather than in the stewards.
"Even a seven-time world champion makes mistakes. Even the best have made mistakes. And Lewis has made very few mistakes in his career. I’d struggle to count them on the fingers of one hand," he said.
"Sometimes I just think the sport should just let the drivers race, let them get on with it without making so many rules which interfere with the race itself."