FIA race director Michael Masi insists the British Grand Prix stewards were not more lenient compared to previous races this season.
Sunday’s race saw plenty of wheel-to-wheel action, with Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen notably fighting hard two weeks after their incident at the end of the Austrian Grand Prix.
Leclerc says their previous experience had led him to race more aggressively, and while the only on-track incident to be investigated was the one between Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel, Masi says the stewards approach was the same as it has always been.
“The let-them-race philosophy has been adopted all year,” Masi said. “What we saw out there, with the nature of the circuit, and the way that it was — yes there was some wheel-to-wheel action, but it was the same that it has been previously, and it has been judged in exactly the same manner.
“The nature of the way this venue is, probably makes it a perceived view that it is more of let them race. But, no, it has been adopted and applied in exactly the same way it has been all year in our view.”
Masi says there were no incidents other than the Verstappen/Vettel collision that he felt worthy of sending to the stewards, but also says they have the freedom to launch an investigation even without his input.
“It is very much a stewards’ decision, so from my perspective it’s a matter of me looking at things and flag them, but effectively it’s the stewards’ determination of what it is. And also remembering in our regulations for any incident someone needs to be wholly or predominantly to blame, and from what I’ve seen personally (at Silverstone) — not being a steward — I don’t think there was anything other than that one we saw.
“They absolutely have the right to investigate anything. I flag things more often than not but depending on how hectic the race is and what’s happening, the stewards are absolutely entitled to investigate things of their own volition in any way shape or form.”
Vettel received a 10-second time penalty for his collision with Verstappen, while also picking up two penalty points on his super license.