Mercedes DTM boss Wolfgang Schattling believes the stewards mistakingly penalised Robert Wickens instead of Pascal Wehrlein in what led to the Canadian being black-flagged at the Red Bull Ring.
Wickens was penalised during the race for an unsafe release during the pitstops, following a touch-and-go moment with Timo Glock as the pair exited their respective pit boxes while scrapping over second place.
But despite being given the drive-through on lap 28, Wickens did not stop until six laps later, after he had been black-flagged for not respecting the penalty.
Schattling explained that the team decided to keep Wickens out based on its belief that the stewards had actually intended to give the penalty to Wehrlein, who made contact with race winner Marco Wittmann during the stops, but had made a mistake and identified the wrong car.
"Robert didn't do anything wrong, from our point of view," explained Schattling.
"We were convinced during the race that there must have been a misunderstanding during the race, because there were two incidents - one with Pascal, and the other with Robert.
"Pascal, from our point of view, had an unsafe release which was not penalised, and Robert didn't have one, because they came bumper-to-bumper into the pitlane, and left like this.
"To destroy the race of somebody that's done an excellent job was, in our opinion, not what we expected.
"We tried to convince the stewards that there must have been a misunderstanding, and it took some time, so in the end the black flag came out. It didn't mean Robert didn't want to come in, it was our decision."
Glock later countered that he did indeed need to slow to avoid contact with Wickens, hinting that it was the right call to hand down the penalty.
"In the end he didn't give me any room. I had to slow down to not crash into the wall, or to crash into him," said Glock.
"If he would have given me a little bit more room, then maybe the situation would have been a little bit different.
"He squeezed me over, I had to brake, and in the end it's the decision of the stewards - and they decided like this.
"Was it the right [decision]? It's difficult to say. In the end, I had no room."
Wehrlein was later given a three-place grid penalty for the next race at the Nurburgring.