Red Bull’s Max Verstappen believes that the stewards were too harsh on track limits in Austria up and down the racing ladder after multiple penalties and lap time deletions were handed out.
Several drivers in Formula 2 and Formula 3 had their lap times taken off them in the support races, before a series of penalties were handed out in the races, and the premier class was caught out on a number of occasions as well.
Most notably, Sergio Perez was forced to start the sprint race 13th for going wide in Q2, after Sebastian Vettel was forced to start last having done the same thing in the first qualifying session.
Eventual race winner Charles Leclerc and second-placed Verstappen were on a disciplinary tightrope in the main race, as Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly and Vettel were all given five-second penalties for track limit violations.
The reigning champion reckons the stewards were too hard on their judgement of the confines of the racetrack in Spielberg last time out.
“We have good conversations between the drivers and at the end of the day, more or less, on most things we agree,” said Verstappen, quoted by GPFans.
“Of course, everyone has their own opinions about certain things, but like track limits, the track-limits debate [was] a bit of a joke, not only in F1 but in F2 and F3.”
One of the key topics going into the Austrian Grand Prix was that of consistency and making sure that all drivers are treated equally for the same indiscretions.
The gravel at the Red Bull Ring, as well as the raised kerbs on corner exits, often do their bit to cost drivers time if they run wide, so it should not necessarily be a hard and fast rule that running wide instantly results in a penalty in the eyes of the Red Bull driver.
“We have to look into how we can make it better,” added Verstappen.
“Also for the stewards, and just the people involved with checking these track limits, I mean it’s almost impossible to check these kind of things.
“You need what, almost like one guy on one car the whole race to check the whole lap if he’s not going outside of the white line.
“In Austria, at least, in some places, you get naturally penalised if you just go a bit wider and you touch the gravel.
“These kinds of things, it just doesn’t look good for the sport as well, and this is just one thing.
“Then the other thing are racing incidents and stuff. For sure, we can do better. We will work on it and we’ll try to make it better.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner recently warned that the Circuit Paul Ricard in France could be a problem this weekend due to the copious amounts of run-off at the French Grand Prix track.