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Verstappen relishes Bottas battle in Styrian Grand Prix

13/07/20

The Dutchman didn't make things easy for the Finn.

Max Verstappen relished a battle with Valtteri Bottas at the Styrian Grand Prix that was won by Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton dominated the second race of the season at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday, leading from lights out to the chequered flag, and Bottas made it a Mercedes one-two.

Red Bull driver Verstappen filled the podium after starting in second place in Spielberg, where Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel retired following a first-lap collision.

Bottas first overtook Verstappen on lap 66 but the Dutchman regained second place around the outside of turn four with a tremendous move. However, the Finn made his move stick on the next lap.

Verstappen acknowledged he lacked the pace to beat the Mercedes duo but enjoyed a duel with Bottas, who won the first race of the season on the same track last weekend.

Verstappen said: "I tried but we are just a bit too slow. I pushed as hard as I could.

"Also, when Valtteri tried to pass me I tried to make it a bit difficult. I knew he was going to get by one lap later, but it was at least fun.

"The podium is good but still a lot of work to do."

Bottas enjoyed the challenge Verstappen provided as defending champion Hamilton eased to his first win of the year.

"It was a good battle with him. I think I had quite a bit more pace than him at the end as we extended the first stint, but racing closely is always good fun," he said.