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'Borderline dirty' racing great for F1 - Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks the hard racing seen at the British Grand Prix is good for spectacle, but is happy his drivers avoided any "dirtiness" in their fight for the lead.

Mercedes' drivers swapped positions early on in the race on Sunday -- Lewis Hamilton briefly got past Valtteri Bottas at Luffield, before the Finn fought back to reclaim the lead through Copse corner. The race was full of wheel-to-wheel racing, with Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen racing hard for the first half of the grand prix.

Wolff was pleased to see his drivers listen to his pre-race warnings about avoiding a collision.

"This is exactly what we debated," Wolff said. "I don't want to see any of this in an intra-team battle and I think I have no doubt they know how to race each other.

"We have seen that on many occasions between Lewis and Valtteri, they respect each other off track and they respect each other on track, to take it another step it is fair enough if you race against another team.

"But I thought it was very good racing between the two of them, certainly very entertaining, nobody could say that there wasn't hard defending but it wasn't dirty. What I think what we've seen between some of the other drivers is borderline dirty.

"There is always dirtiness we want to see out there in racing and it is good when it is drivers going against each other but not in the same team."

This season has featured several contentious moments over the limits of racing -- stewards took several hours to decide no further action was warranted on Verstappen's wheel-banging move on Leclerc to win the Austrian Grand Prix last month. The pair did battle again at Silverstone, with several near-misses between them and a reverse of that Austria moment when Leclerc forced Verstappen wide at the final corner.

The move was not investigated, something Wolff said shows F1 has set a precedent on what is and is not allowed in those situations.

"Yeah, you can clearly see that the Leclerc/Verstappen incident of Austria is being interpreted exactly in the way it was in Austria, and hard racing is permitted. You can push somebody out while exiting the corner.

"I think this is how it is allowed in most of the other formulas, and it needs to be between teams. I think that's what we all want to see. It is hard racing, but it's something we need to do."