Ex-F1 driver Johnny Herbert – who was a steward at the Austrian Grand Prix – has explained why Max Verstappen was only handed a 10-second time penalty.

Verstappen was given a 10-second penalty after colliding with Lando Norris on the approach to Turn 3 on Lap 64 of the race.

The contact resulted in punctures for both drivers, handing George Russell an unlikely victory.

Replay footage showed Verstappen veering slightly left under braking as Norris attempted to get alongside.

Speaking to Coin Poker, Herbert – who was on duty for the FIA this weekend – explained why Verstappen’s penalty was 10 seconds.

“That is the hardest one that can be applied under FIA guidelines that we operate under as stewards,” he said. “McLaren have said it should have been harsher, but that is the game all teams play.

“If someone had flipped over or been barrel rolling down the track I don’t know if that would have changed things. Forcing a driver off the circuit or causing an incident is what it came under.

“That was the maximum sanction we could have taken.”

Norris was unhappy with Verstappen’s defending prior to the eventual contact.

Herbert described Verstappen’s tactics as “clever” before detailing why further penalties weren’t handed out by the stewards.

“The good thing with someone like Max is that although he does not agree with it, he will find a way to use his weaponry in a different way,” he added. “As stewards, we looked at his under-braking and it was not clear.

“It was clever and just and just made it a bit more difficult for Lando to pick whether he went left or right into a particular corner.

“He will adjust somehow and find another way of doing it but still put the same pressure to whoever his opponent is.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 leads Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38, both with punctures after colliding.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 leads Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren…

Herbert also defended Norris for doing the “right thing” to avoid being intimidated by Verstappen – a tactic deployed by other F1 greats such as Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.

“It was Max’s fault. He is a hard racer,” he explained. “He is very, very hard to beat. He intimidates everybody. That intimidation is something that Lewis. Michael Schumacher, and Ayrton Senna, have always done.

“When you come up against Max as he is driving today, there’s a point if you’re Lando that you have to say: ‘I am here. I am at your side. You are trying to squeeze me off the circuit. And I am not going to move.’

“Lando did the right thing. He did not move. He did not have to. Some people said he could have moved. But that is not how you beat Max or how you win the Grand Prix.

It is the side of Max that has always been part of his armoury.

“We haven’t seen it for a while, because he has been so dominant. It is interesting to see how he reacts under pressure. He did not agree with the penalty that came his way which also included two points on his license.