Charles Leclerc says the wheel-to-wheel fight with Max Verstappen during Sunday's British Grand Prix was the most fun he has had in his Formula 1 career, feeling his defensive moves "always borderline" but within the rules.

Leclerc said heading into the Silverstone race weekend he felt he had a better understanding of how hard he could race on-track after Verstappen avoided a penalty for his late move for victory in Austria two weeks ago, encouraging him to be more aggressive.

Leclerc and Verstappen ran together throughout the first 20 laps of the race, going side-by-side on a number of occasions, but Leclerc was able to stay ahead with some bold defensive manoeuvres.

"That was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had in my Formula 1 career. It’s a short career, only a year and a half, but it was definitely very, very fun from inside the car," Leclerc said.

"I think Austria was quite an eye-opener for me, and I understand how far we can go and what was expected. I’m very happy at the end to race like this, I think every driver wants to race hard, and we did during most of the race.

"It was very, very fun, always borderline but I think within the rules, and very enjoyable."

Verstappen got the jump under the Safety Car, but dropped back late in the race after being hit by Leclerc's Ferrari teammate, Sebastian Vettel, when fighting for third place. Verstappen ultimately crossed the line fifth while Leclerc completed the podium in P3.

Leclerc said it was "very difficult" to keep Verstappen back in the Red Bull, saying it acted as a wake-up call to Ferrari.

"I think we have got some work to do on our race pace, and try to keep these tyres as good as Mercedes and Red Bull are doing," he said.

"I think we are a little bit struggling on that."

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