Verstappen-Leclerc fight shows F1's future is bright – Brawn

Formula 1’s motorsport director Ross Brawn says Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc‘s battle at the Austrian Grand Prix shows that the future of the sport is bright.

Verstappen got the best of former karting rival Leclerc, overtaking the Ferrari man with three laps to go with a move that was cleared by stewards more than three hours after the race.

The pair are expected to be adversaries for years to come, but this race was the first true glimpse of their potential rivalry, something that Brawn believes shows F1 is in a good spot, after several weeks of grumbling over processional races and controversial decision-making.

“I’m particularly pleased that the top two finishers make up the youngest pairing ever to come first and second in a Grand Prix,” Brawn wrote in his post-race column.

“Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc both deserved to win and if they had finished in reverse order it would have been equally laudable.

“Max drove an amazing race, particularly when one considers that his start, to use a word that’s popular in this sport was ‘sub-optimal’.

“He produced some superbly aggressive passing moves, drove some very fast laps on tyres that had done more than 30 laps, and his race pace management was pretty much perfect.

“Charles also put in a superb performance – dominating the opening sessions and delivering great pole laps.

“However, for the second time this year he saw his chances of winning evaporate almost within sight of the flag.

“Despite the disappointment it’s clear that the Monegasque driver is clearly getting better and better, showing great maturity in how he races and how he dealt with a far from simple post-race situation.

“These two kids are definitely promising a brilliant future for Formula 1 in the coming decade.”