BUDAPEST • Red Bull's Max Verstappen took issue with "unfair" Formula One stewards on Thursday night, after Ferrari's Charles Leclerc escaped sanction for an unsafe release during a pit stop at the German Grand Prix last weekend.
The Scuderia were fined €5,000 (S$7,640), instead of a time penalty for sending their driver into the path of Haas' Romain Grosjean in a chaotic race at Hockenheim, with both cars making minor contact.
The stewards noted in their written decision that Leclerc drove out at an acute angle to avoid a tyre changer in the adjacent pit.
In May, Verstappen was handed a five-second penalty for an unsafe release after he collided with Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the pit lane in Monaco, costing him a place on the podium.
Asked about the Hockenheim incident, he said ahead of this weekend's Hungarian GP that the decision was "completely wrong".
"If they would get a fine (and not a time penalty), everybody would do it," he said. "It's not fair. To say that they gave me that penalty (in Monaco) only purely because I touched, that's also not fair. You are still releasing the car knowing that there is a car in the fast lane.
"Just a fine, it's not fair. €5,000? I mean, it's peanuts for a team.
"It's completely wrong to do that, especially if you talk about safety."
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner agreed that there is a lack of consistency, insisting that "something is wrong with the system".
Separately, five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton hopes to be fully fit for tomorrow's race after being laid low by a flu bug.
The Mercedes ace, who finished 11th before being promoted to ninth after the Alfa Romeos were demoted for clutch-related irregularities, won from pole last year at the Hungaroring, a track he has triumphed on a record six times.
"I've slept literally the last three days. So I feel a lot better," he said. "I'm hoping to be 100 per cent by the weekend. I still feel I need a bit more rest."