Kevin Magnussen insists that there was nothing underhand in the four-way battle he enjoyed in the closing laps of the Belgian Grand Prix - even if the race stewards thought differently.

Speaking before the announcement that he was to be penalised by the addition of 20 seconds to his elapsed race time - a punishment sufficient to drop him out of the points - the Dane enthused about the scrap with Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, which initially saw him cross the line in sixth place overall.

With fifth place on the line, the quartet left nothing on the track and, at one point, Magnussen appeared to make sure that Alonso would have to use more than the prescribed strip of tarmac as he defended his position from the Spaniard. Button also had reason to check up behind the rookie, as he attempted to capitalise and pass both Ferrari and McLaren, handing the initiative to Vettel.

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The German went on to win the skirmish, heading Magnussen, Button and Alonso across the line. The Spaniard's charge was hampered when he ran into the back of the Red Bull at La Source last time around, but was more angry with Magnussen's defence - a complaint that eventually led to the Dane being referred to the stewards.

"It was a tough battle," Magnussen admitted, "They are not the easiest guys to keep behind, but I think P6 and P7 for me and Jenson this weekend is pretty decent.

"I think it was a fair fight - tough but fair - and I fought as hard as I could. It's great when we get to fight like this as, with DRS and the advanced power units we have, it can very easily be a straight away pass. The moves we make are usually on the straights so, when we get to fight like this, for lap after lap, it's great. I enjoyed it today."

Despite the loss of six points following Magnussen's penalty, McLaren still managed to overtake Force India and take fifth place in the constructors' table.

"I can't describe how awesome it is to race [at Spa] - it's a phenomenal circuit and always delivers great racing," Magnussen added, "The team have done a great job managing the power unit this weekend. The Mercedes guys and our engineers in the team have really done an excellent job on that. The whole weekend has gone great, but I was able to fight today and I can thank the team for that."


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Apparently defending your position is a much more serious transgression than deliberately ramming someone up the rear.