Ricciardo: Max’s ‘greed’ behind ugly spat
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 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.
Hamilton confirmed he and Verstappen had shaken hands at a fan-signing event at the circuit, with the Dutchman acknowledging the gesture.
"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."
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.
Verstappen's teammate Daniel Ricciardo was on the Brit's side, saying his younger Red Bull colleague got too "greedy".
"I think Max had the move (completed) already, I just don't think he needed to run all the way to the kerb," Ricciardo said.
"I think regardless Max would have stayed ahead, he was just a little too greedy.
"Even if Max had hung around the outside (through Turn 2) I just think Max would have had him regardless. He squeezed him a little too much in my opinion."
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 a 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."