Sebastian Vettel was confused by his reprimand for missing the national anthem ahead of Formula 1's recent Japanese Grand Prix, calling the FIA's decision "a bit of a joke".
Vettel was handed his second reprimand of the season for being late to the pre-race ceremony, under new sporting rules brought in by F1's governing body to improve punctuality.
Vettel left the grid for a toilet break while Ferrari mechanics attempted to fix a spark plug problem that ultimately caused Vettel to retire from the race four laps after the start.
The reprimand was Vettel's second of 2017, after he was rebuked for crossing the pit exit line at Monaco.
The Suzuka decision by FIA stewards means Vettel is on the cusp of receiving a 10-place grid penalty.
A penalty would be given for three reprimands, two of which must be for driving offences.
"I didn't understand it," Vettel said when asked about the Suzuka incident in the US GP paddock on Thursday.
"I was a bit late, but for half of the anthem I was there.
"I was surprised when I heard I was reprimanded for it.
"Maybe I should have pushed aside the guy ahead of me and not wait until he was done on the toilet!
"A bit of a joke, but OK."