Deportes

Lewis Hamilton tries to bury hatchet with Max Verstappen — Formula One

Lewis Hamilton tries to bury hatchet with Max Verstappen — Formula One

Because while Australia's Albert Park has the quirks of being a season-opener and Bahrain plays to the relative strengths and weaknesses of Ferrari and Mercedes, the circuit in Shanghai doesn't particularly suit anyone, meaning it is the best gauge of the two teams' relative performance.

He will be hoping Red Bull's young star Max Verstappen stays out of his way after a collision that put Verstappen out of the running and prompted Hamilton to call him a "dickhead" immediately after the race; Vettel than raised eyebrows by being first to leap to Hamilton's defence.

"For example last year in Mexico it could have gone wrong as well [when Verstappen took the lead at the first corner], maybe for me or maybe for another car, as you can see in Mexico it did [Hamilton and Vettel collided]".

That could be dependent on the weather, which is usually much more representative of most venues F1 visits and is why coming out on top will be a good confidence booster for whichever team is victorious.

But with the two set to race again this weekend in the Chinese Grand Prix, the 33-year-old Hamilton said he approached Verstappen in Shanghai in a bid to lower the temperature. The collision caused a puncture on Verstappen's car, which damaged the transmission as he returned to the pits and resulted in the Red Bull's retirement from the race.

He said: "I might have a talk with him, it depends on whether it is really necessary".

The impact punctured a tyre on Verstappen's car, eventually damaging the gearbox and forcing him to retire.

Verstappen didn't back down on Thursday in Shanghai and defended his driving. He almost pulled off the pass after gaining control of the inside line, but pushed Hamilton too far out wide leaving him no room to maneuver, which resulted in the latter's front wing clipping the Red Bull's left rear tire.

Hamilton had a clear edge over Ferrari in Melbourne and team mate Valtteri Bottas came within a second of snatching victory from pole-sitter Vettel in Bahrain.

The Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday offers a chance for a turnaround, particularly for Verstappen, who finished third in China a year ago. "My thoughts are already on the world championship - I've lost two races in a row now and I am 17 points down after just two races". So, I think it's been much better, but it was a very tough race. "At the fans' signing session I shook his hand and said: 'I am sorry about the last race, '" the four-time world champion explained.

Rain is possible for practice during qualifying on Friday and Saturday, but race day should be dry and chilly. We still have work to do, especially for conditions like here in Bahrain. Verstappen, in his third season in Formula One, was bullish when asked about it in Shanghai. The next season at the Spanish Grand Prix, the Dutchman became the youngest to win a race. "There won't be a change".