Lewis Hamilton shook hands with Max Verstappen as show of respect

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SHANGHAI, China -- Following their collision at last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton said it was important to shake hands with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen ahead of this weekend's race as a show of respect.

Hamilton and Verstappen clashed wheels while racing for tenth position on the second lap of Sunday's race, leading to a puncture on Verstappen's that ultimately triggered his retirement with a broken transmission. Before heading to the podium Hamilton was caught on camera calling Verstappen a "d---head" and later told media that he thought the Red Bull driver's overtaking attempt lacked respect.

On arrival in Shanghai for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, Verstappen said he was not planning to talk to Hamilton about the incident, but while signing autographs later in the day, Hamilton approached Verstappen to shake his hand and put the issue to bed.

"I generally do my talking on the track, but after this incident I didn't," Hamilton said. "But I just saw Max for example just now. I think it's always good to show respect. More importantly, being that I'm the older driver I felt that it was important that I went to him.

"So just as we were just signing just now, I just shook his hand and I was like, 'Look I'm sorry about the last race.' Regardless of if it is his fault or my fault, it's in the past. Hopefully, that sign of respect shows a lot and helps you turn the page and move forwards, racing each other and hopefully keeps respect between you as I think that's important between drivers."

Hamilton said he was also aggressive when he was Verstappen's age but has now learned to control his emotions in the heat of the moment.

"I have a lot of respect for Max and I hope you can see that from the comments I've said about him in testing where he's got great potential to be the champion. As we all know he's such a talented driver. Jeez, I mean, I was in the same place when I was young, similar age, or older actually.

"But, still it's such a learning process being with all the pressure, being in a top team. He's going to have some great races and he's going to have bad races, just as I will do today, even though I'm much older than him.

"If you look at the start of the race I was very cautious and surrounded by drivers who were fighting for a different type of race -- scrapping for points in suboptimal cars performance wise, so they had to reach differently to get those points because they are valuable in a different way.

"Whereas I'm fighting for a championship at the front end of Formula One team wise and car, so I have to approach it in a different way. But I think respect needs to be kept between all the drivers and you learn how aggressive each individual is and how much risk they willing to take for the positions [in situations like that]. So you just put the experience behind you and take note of it and move on."

Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix U.S. coverage presented by Mothers Polish (All times Eastern)

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On the Grid - Sunday, April 15 - 1:30AM - ESPN2
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