Max Verstappen saw nothing wrong in his driving as he pushed himself and Lewis Hamilton off track in Brazil.
The duo have collided on several occasions already in their squabble over the 2021 Drivers’ Championship, but they were able to keep it clean at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix…just about.
Picking up the slipstream and with a DRS boost, Hamilton was able to get a run on Verstappen for the lead heading into Turn 4.
Hamilton went into the corner ahead, but late on the brakes Verstappen refused to yield, forcing Hamilton and himself way onto the run-off area.
The Dutchman also later saw the black and white flag for weaving down the straight as Hamilton pursued.
The stewards did indeed note the incident where Verstappen and Hamilton went off the track, though no investigation followed, something which Hamilton said he knew would be the case.
But Verstappen did not believe that there was anything untoward with his actions.
“We both braked really late into the corner, of course trying to get the position, so I think that was fair enough,” he told Sky F1.
Hamilton did eventually make the pass on Verstappen, going on to complete a remarkable victory from P10 on the grid, crowning a weekend in style which Hamilton admitted was probably the most difficult of his career.
And ultimately Verstappen accepts that he was lacking that extra bit of pace needed to keep up with his title rival.
“Of course I tried everything I could, but clearly, we’re just lacking a little bit of pace, a little bit too much,” Verstappen stated.
“Especially on a track like this, where the tyre wear is very high, you have to use the tyres a bit more to keep them behind, and in the end it didn’t work out.
“But I’m not too disappointed, because I think this is quite a realistic result, but at least we had a bit of fun you know, battling out there.”
Verstappen had extended his lead over Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship through sprint qualifying to 21 points, but Hamilton’s victory saw him cut that deficit down to 14 with three races to go.
Formula 1 now heads into unfamiliar territory with the inaugural stagings of the Qatar and Saudi Arabian GPs to come, with Abu Dhabi then bringing the curtain down on a thrilling 2021 campaign.
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