McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has warned the outcome of Mercedes' right-to- review hearing following the Brazilian Grand Prix clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will "change the approach of drivers".
On lap 48 of the 71-lap race in Brazil, Verstappen and Hamilton both went off track as the Dutchman defended the lead.
Although the incident was noted, it was not investigated by the stewards. After the release of Verstappen's front-facing onboard footage, however, Mercedes sought to activate its right to review.
In Austria, Lando Norris was penalised for "forcing another driver off the track" which led to him receiving a five-second penalty and with two penalty points added to his licence, leaving Seidl a keen spectator ahead of the FIA's latest ruling.
“Looking at the case and compared with Lando’s case, we definitely have some questions," said Seidl.
"Lando got a penalty in Austria for something which, from our point of view, was debatable. I think you can definitely argue with what happened then it was Lando’s corner, different to what we have seen in Brazil.
“Therefore we are still obviously very interested in, not necessarily the ruling from today or the outcome of today’s investigation because that is a different story, a different process, but more like understanding what [FIA race director] Michael [Masi] will also brief to the drivers tonight in the drivers’ briefing on how they see things moving forward.
“I think, whatever the outcome is, it will definitely change the approach of the drivers to certain manoeuvres on track. That is why it is interesting to clarify [what is legal] going forward.”
F1 must clarify 'let-them-race' principle
During radio exchanges with Mercedes and Red Bull, the 'let-them-race' principle was repeatedly mentioned, something that has been applied sporadically across the year.
"We didn’t hear on the team side that there was a specific discussion regarding that topic," confirmed Seidl.
“That is why it will be interesting what the drivers will hear tonight from Michael in the drivers’ briefing because compared to the past some years ago, definitely we have had a switch more towards let them race.
"That is why I think it is just important to clarify that every driver knows what he can do and what he can’t do.
“Also, not just for the drivers but also for the pit walls to be in a good state of mind during races.”