Max Verstappen is hopeful that he did not inadvertently cause Charles Leclerc's brake issue, after revealing that he removed a visor 'tear-off' on the opening lap.
With the top two in the championship starting towards the back of the grid and aiming to progress, it was a race of contrasting fortunes for Verstappen and Leclerc.
Starting in P14 and P15, Verstappen and Leclerc made good progress on the opening lap of the race, and both ran in the top 10.
However, Leclerc's race was hampered by an overheating brake, which the Ferrari team confirmed was caused by a visor 'tear-off', something drivers frequently remove during the course of a Grand Prix.
Leclerc was forced to pit much earlier than planned, and could only recover to fifth place, which became sixth after the addition of a time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
Verstappen: I could barely see anything
Race-winner Verstappen recalled the combative opening lap of the race, commenting that the number of off-track moments for the drivers ahead meant he, understandably, had to throw away a visor tear-off, owing to the amount dirt and debris.
"I knew of course with the car we had, you don't want to risk too much," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"So then it's even harder to stay out of trouble, and people were going off in the gravel coming back on the track and, of course, they are defending their spot.
"I was literally just trying to stay out of it, but you also don't want to lose too much time.
"It was super hectic and so much dirt as well. I pulled off my tear-off because I barely could see anything just because of the previous sector with everyone just going on the grass and the gravel, but we survived without damage."
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Leclerc issue a driver's "worst nightmare"
Following Verstappen's account of the opening lap, the Dutchman was then asked if he had known about Leclerc's issue with a tear-off occurring at a similar time in the race.
"I didn't know. I hope it's not mine," added Verstappen.
"There was a lot of stuff, people were all pulling stuff off and, to be honest, it's just super unlucky that it happens.
"You're always scared that happens, especially when you're in the pack, especially on a track like this, you are taking them off very quickly.
"That is your worst nightmare that these things happen, but unfortunately they do happen."
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