Guenther Steiner has suggested that the FIA were too lenient with Max Verstappen after he was investigated for impeding Haas' Kevin Magnussen in the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix qualifying.
After narrowly taking Pole Position at the Red Bull Ring in Friday qualifying, the championship leader was investigated for allegedly disrupting Magnussen's flying lap earlier in the session.
After the completion of a flying lap in Q1, Verstappen was accused of impeding the Haas driver at Turn 1 as he started his own 'push' lap.
The Stewards investigated, but ruled that no offence had been committed because Magnussen "did not have to take significant evasive action," adding that a loss of lap time was caused by Magnussen's line into Turn 1.
When providing his verdict on the ruling, Haas Team Principal Steiner believed that if the Haas had been in the way of Verstappen, the Stewards would not have shown the same leniency.
"They’re inconsistent," Steiner told Sky Italy.
"Max didn’t do it on purpose, but the rules are the same for everyone.
"When I heard that they checked the audio of the sound of the engine and assumed Kevin didn’t slow down, and they concluded that Max didn’t do anything, I was confused because it was not true.
"They’re so inconsistent with their decisions depending on who’s deciding. If the situation had been reversed, we would’ve got a penalty. I’m almost sure about this.”
After qualifying on the back row of the grid for the Austrian Grand Prix, Magnussen will start the race from the pit lane after the team elected to make set-up changes to the car.