Max Verstappen has laughed off the controversy surrounding his defence of position from Kimi Raikkonen during the Hungarian Grand Prix, insisting famous sparring partners Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost 'would have liked it'.
The Dutchman was criticised for tactics he employed in keeping Raikkonen at bay during the final laps of the Budapest race with the pair making contact at Turn 2 as he came across the Ferrari before again coming close to blows at Turn 1 a few laps later.
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With Raikkonen lashing out at officials for not investigating his actions, other drivers have expressed their misgivings as well, with Sergio Perez saying it was 'a bit much' and Felipe Massa admitting it was 'on the limit'.
With a clarification on what is permitted or otherwise when defending set to be raised at the drivers' briefing on Friday, Red Bull's Verstappen dismissed any concerns about his actions, saying such defence should be typical when you are fighting a key rival.
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“I think it was all pretty clear, there was nothing said from the stewards as well so I think I didn't do anything wrong,” he expressed. “At the end of the day we are fighting in the championship with Ferrari so it's not like you say 'thank you very much, the door is open, you can go', because he didn't do it to me as well after the first pit stop.
“You are fighting and it's not like we are on a Sunday drive, that's how I approach the race because we are there to fight and we are there to score points.
Suggesting Senna and Prost would have appreciated the toughness, Verstappen joked that reading criticism about his driving style 'fills up his day'
“I think Senna and Prost would have liked it as well. There was no front wing or anything next to my car and I don't think it was that dramatic. In the end you know it's very hard to overtake on that track, like you could see after my first stop I was on new tyres, I was behind Kimi, I couldn't get past so then I don't start to do crazy things. I don't go too optimistic into the braking zone and try to pass because there's just no way to get past.”
“Everybody can have criticism can't they? It's nice, there are some stories we have to read. It's OK. It fills up my day as well so it's good.”
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