Verstappen was “a bit frustrated” during his battle with Russell

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Max Verstappen says he was “a bit frustrated” during his battle with George Russell at the Spanish Grand Prix, while George thinks “it was hard and fair racing”.

At the Spanish Grand Prix George Russell managed to hold off Max Verstappen for numerous laps even though Red Bull was an obviously faster car. It has to be noted, though, that the Dutch driver’s DRS was not working properly.

At the post-race press conference Verstappen was asked if he enjoyed the fight.

“I was a bit frustrated at the time, because I couldn’t get him because of the DRS issues,” Verstappen said.

“But the fight itself, I think was really cool. Also, I think that lap where I did go on the inside and then George went around the outside, but then I was on the outside of Turn 3 again, I think that was a really cool fight.

“Yeah, I look back at it and I’ll smile now. At the time, of course, I was a little bit frustrated. But it was a really good and tough battle, I think.

Russell, on the other hand completely enjoyed the battle.

“Yeah, it was enjoyable,” the Briton said.

“I mean, it’s… I think Max and I first raced each other back in 2011. So it was nice to have the opportunity to fight with him.

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“And, you know, I’m here to win, I’m here to fight and I obviously wasn’t going to make it easy.

“I felt bad for him, because he obviously had the DRS issues and he was clearly the faster man today.

“But still, I think it was hard, fair racing. And that’s what we would like to see, and expect, in Formula 1.”

During the battle the race stewards announced they were looking into their encounters to determine if there was any ‘foul play’ involved, but ultimately they decided everything was according to the rules.

“I think maybe they were looking at the moving a bit, the weaving,” Verstappen explained when asked to give his thoughts.

“Ah, Turn 3, because of leaving one car width? Yeah, luckily nothing happened. I mean, there was a bit of grip on the outside, so I’m okay with it.

“I think it was hard racing. And of course, I went around the outside but I’m also in the blind spot of George, so I think he didn’t even really notice where I was exactly, right?

“Well, for sure you knew that I was there, but it’s always hard to fully give a car’s width there because it’s a fast corner, you’re drifting wide.

“So if I was in George’s position, I would have probably done the same, so it’s just how we are, I think,” he concluded.

George said he was unaware that the stewards got involved, as he believes it was all “hard and fair racing”.

Yeah, I think it’s important that we are allowing this hard, fair racing,” George said.

“And the rule is to give a car’s width and that was what was done and I think there was still a wheel on the track from Max. But yeah, it’s a little bit difficult at the moment. I think there’s a lot of…

“We’ve obviously got the new stewards in and it’s very difficult for everybody, and trying to understand each other, what we feel like is required from the driver’s side, and what they expect from us as well, and it will just need this open dialogue.

“But I wasn’t even aware they were looking into it, to be honest, I thought it was hard and fair racing,” the Briton concluded.

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