Comparing Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel incidents like 'apples and oranges' – FIA

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Red Bull's Max Verstappen

Trying to make a comparison between Sebastian Vettel's incident in Canada and Max Verstappen's in Austria is like trying to compare "apples and oranges", according to FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi.

Vettel was hit with a five-second time penalty, costing him the win in Canada after he ran across the grass and rejoined in an unsafe manner. Verstappen meanwhile passed Charles Leclerc in the closing laps of the Austrian GP, but forced the Ferrari driver wide and, although the matter was investigated, the stewards deemed that no further action was required.

Some fans have compared the two incidents and believe Verstappen should be penalised to remain consistent. Motorsport Week ran a quick Twitter poll after the race in which more than 1,000 people voted and almost 40 per cent thought it was deserving of a penalty, though most pundits and former drivers thought it was tough but fair in the world of racing.

Masi though says trying to compare the two incidents, which happened under completely different circumstances, is like trying to compare "apples and oranges".

"Each and every incident needs to be considered on its own merits, talking different corners, different profiles, different drivers involved, different circumstances. If we try to [compare] in that regard we’re effectively comparing apples and oranges," he said on Sunday evening.

"The incident in Canada, Sebastian went across the grass, he was in front, it wasn’t an overtaking manoeuvre. The one with Daniel [Ricciardo] with Lando [Norris in France] was very much part of Daniel going off the track and rejoining.

"This here [in Austria] was both cars were on the track, it was an overtaking manoeuvre… so trying to compare the three of them, they are three very different incidents.

"It was an overtaking manoeuvre and as the stewards rightly pointed out, in my view, it was a racing incident and it was one of those that was good, hard racing from the perspective they saw."