SILVERSTONE, England — Max Verstappen said his priority following the Austrian Grand Prix was clearing the air with Lando Norris after the pair collided while fighting for the lead of the race.

Verstappen and Norris, who are close friends away from the track, both sustained punctures after they touched wheels while fighting for position with seven laps remaining.

Asked in the immediate aftermath if the collision would impact their relationship, Norris said: “It depends what he says. If he says he did nothing wrong, then I will lose a lot of respect for that.”

The two drivers spoke on the Monday following the race and again on Wednesday, with Norris admitting ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix that he “overreacted” and there was no need for Verstappen to apologise.

When Verstappen was asked about the aftermath, he said his main concern was to ensure their friendship had not been impacted by the collision.

“The only thing that I cared about is maintaining my relationship with Lando, because we are great friends,” Verstappen said. “That for me, after the race, I said we have to just let things cool down because emotions run high.

“We immediately spoke on Monday, and I think we came to the conclusion that we actually really enjoyed our battle. We looked at the incident, it was such a silly little touch that of course had great consequences for both of us, and a bit more for Lando with how the puncture then evolved.

“But we like to race hard. We’ve done this for many years, not only in Formula One, even in online racing where we’ve had a lot of fun together, and these things, they have to carry on because that’s what we like to do, and I think it’s great for Formula One as well.

“We agreed with 99% of everything. That’s a lot I think already. And naturally I said to Lando, when you go for moves up the inside, outside, you can trust me that I’m not there to crash you out of the way. The same the other way around, because we spoke about that as well.”

Asked about the criticism he received, Verstappen added: “I don’t give a s— about that. I go home, I live my life.

“The only thing that I cared about was my relationship to Lando.”

Verstappen, who received a 10-second penalty for the collision, went on to defend his approach to racing, saying all winners push the boundaries of the regulations and it was only normal to defend in the manner he did in Austria.

“Naturally there’s always a human reaction when someone dives up the inside or outside, that you have a bit of a reaction to it. But I felt everything that I did was nothing massively over the top.

“Of course, it’s like how you design the car, you try to go to the edge of the rules. Maybe you find some grey areas here and there. And that’s the same how you race.

“Otherwise you will never be a top driver and you will never succeed in life anyway.”

Verstappen went on to play down the comments made in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

“I know of course Lando, he’s a great guy, he’s a really nice person who loves Formula One, of course he loves racing,” Verstappen said.

“He’s just very passionate about it, naturally of course after the race, you also have to realize, he’s fighting for his second potential win. I’m fighting for my 62nd win.

“Naturally your emotions are a little bit different. I know that from myself, when I was fighting for these first wins in F1. But that’s fine, that’s why I also tell him just let it cool off a bit and we’ll talk tomorrow.”