Max Verstappen aims dig at Lewis Hamilton after Australian Grand Prix win
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Max Verstappen may have stormed to his second race win of the season at Sunday's (April 2) Australian Grand Prix, but that didn't prevent him from taking some post-race shots at old foe Sir Lewis Hamilton.
The Dutchman dominated the weekend, taking Pole on Saturday, while also leading for almost the entirety of the race.
However, after Hamilton's Mercedes teammate George Russell took the lead at the very beginning of the Grand Prix, Verstappen found himself down in P3 following a punchy overtake by the seven-time F1 World Champion.
Hamilton's dive up the inside of Verstappen at Turn Three was deemed perfectly legal by the race stewards, but the defending champion felt he wasn't given enough room by the overtaking Brit.
Verstappen was quick to complain about the move over team radio, telling his race engineer: "He pushed me off the track. I was ahead at the apex, he pushed me off."
After winning the race, Verstappen repeated his gripe to the watching world in a frank post-race interview, saying (via The Express). "From my side, I just tried to avoid contact. It's quite clear in the rules what you're allowed to do on the outside, but clearly it's not followed.
"It's okay, we had good pace and we passed them anyway, but it's something for the next race to take into account. It's great to win here - my first win, it's been a while for the team as well so very very happy."
The close call between the two drivers was low down on the list of post-race talking points, with much of the TV coverage and column inches instead dedicated to the final laps of the race - and a very controversial red flag.
The flag was waved with just three laps left, after Haas driver Kevin Magnussen lost his wheel in a scrape with the wall at Turn Two.
To the shock of many drivers, Verstappen included, the race was red flagged following a brief safety car period - which set up a chaotic restart and a two-lap sprint to the finish.
While Verstappen and Hamilton would avoid contact at the restart, Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso was sent to the back of the field following contact with Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, with the Alpine cars taking each other out at the second corner.
After the chequered flag was finally dropped - notably behind the safety car - Verstappen branded the confusion as a "mess" - but was happy at the team's pace on Sunday.
He explained: "We had a very poor start, and lap one I was careful because I had a lot to lose and they had a lot to win. After that, the pace of the car was quick - you could see that straight away.
"We were always there, waiting for the DRS for the chance to pass. But with these red flags, I don't know. The first one, maybe you can do it but the second one I don't understand.
"So, it was a bit of a mess, but we survived everything and we won, which, of course, is the most important thing."
As for Hamilton, the Brit came home in third place to earn his first podium finish of the new season.