Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have shaken hands in a bid to draw a line under their clash in Bahrain.
Both drivers have blamed the other for their on-track collision in last Sunday’s race with Hamilton later telling reporters that Verstappen’s attempted overtake “lacked respect.”
But the world champion sought out his Red Bull rival after arriving in Shanghai for this weekend’s Chinese GP in order to bring their spat to a close.
“I generally do my talking on the track. Obviously after this incident I didn’t, but I just saw Max now,” said Hamilton.
“It’s always good to show respect and being that I’m the older driver, I felt it was important that I went to him. So just as we were signing just now I shook his hand and I was like ‘look, I’m sorry about the last race’. Regardless of whether it is his fault or my fault, it doesn’t really matter. It’s in the past.
“Hopefully that sign of respect shows a lot and helps you move forwards racing each other. Hopefully it keeps respect between you because I think it’s important between drivers.”
Asked what Verstappen said in response, Hamilton replied: “I don’t really know because there was a lot of noise around us, but he acknowledged it.”
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How the row unfolded – and what was said
Verstappen suffered terminal damage to his Red Bull after clipping Hamilton’s Mercedes when he attempted to pass the world champion at the inside of Turn One on the second lap of last Sunday’s race.
Both drivers said the other was at fault, with Hamilton saying the 20-year-old was making “inexperienced” moves and making too many mistakes.
Speaking on Thursday ahead of his handshake with Hamilton, Verstappen maintained the move was fair and he had not done anything “crazy”.
“It’s simple and easy to blame the younger driver. That’s the only way I can see it. There is no reason for me to change anything,” Verstappen said
“I might have a talk with [Lewis], it depends if it’s really necessary. Why should I change something? I don’t think I did anything wrong in terms of my approach. I was just trying to overtake a car and I think it was a fair chance. I went for it.
“That’s racing – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You can say whatever you like about the incident. I had fair shot at it, it was nothing crazy, nothing risky but unfortunately this time it didn’t work out.
“Looking back, in Mexico last year it did work out, this time maybe we didn’t give each other enough space. That’s racing.”
How to follow the Chinese GP on Sky F1 Friday April 13 Sky F1 digital live blog 3am: P1 LIVE! (Build-up 2.45am) 7am: P2 LIVE! (Build-up 6.45am) Saturday April 14 Sky F1 digital live blog 4am: P3 LIVE! (Build-up 3.45am) 7am: Qualifying LIVE! (Build-up 6am) 8.45am: The F1 Show LIVE! Sunday April 15 Sky F1 digital live blog 5.30am: Pit Lane LIVE 6.30am: On the Grid LIVE! 7.10am: The Chinese GP LIVE!
Will Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make it three wins in a row or can Mercedes and Red Bull respond in Shanghai? Watch the Chinese GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Get Sky Sports F1.
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