|Verstappen and Leclerc battle in Austria|
(GMM) A Formula 1 steward has contradicted race director Michael Masi's claim that officials have not become more lenient with the drivers.
Last week, Masi – who early in 2019 replaced Charlie Whiting following his death – denied that FIA stewards were more lenient than usual at Silverstone.
Hailed as one of the most exciting recent grands prix, it was notable that despite more wheel-to-wheel action than usual, less penalties were actually given to the dueling drivers.
"It's mainly the track characteristics that led to the duels," Masi insisted.
"The race was judged according to the same standards as before."
But at Hockenheim, former F1 driver Derek Warwick – acting as the driver representative on the stewards' panel – contradicted Masi's assessment.
He suggested that the FIA has a new approach that contributed to the success of the races in Austria and Silverstone.
"What happened in Austria gave us the new direction," Warwick is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
"The verdict of Verstappen and Leclerc was borderline, but justifiable," he added.