Lewis Hamilton thinks his personal relationship with Max Verstappen remains intact, despite himself and the Red Bull driver colliding twice in five races as their title fight intensifies.
While the on-track battles this year have been aggressive between the pair, culminating in collisions at Silverstone and Monza, Hamilton believes there's no acrimony once the helmets come off.
"Me and Max, when we have seen each other after the race, I have always tried to be respectful whether he is first or he's behind me," Hamilton told ESPN.
"I always try to make sure I go over to him, and it doesn't feel any different to me."
Following their Italian Grand Prix collision, Hamilton revealed the discussions in the stewards' room hadn't been in any way hot-tempered.
"Of course, we sat in the stewards' office the other day and it wasn't hostile," he said.
"He gave his point of view and I gave my point of view."
Hamilton is known to have called up Verstappen following their dramatic Silverstone collision, although the details of the conversation remain private. Hamilton said it was important that he, as the elder driver, made that initial contact, as he knew he couldn't have done it when he was Verstappen's age.
"I called him after Silverstone, but, again, I don't mean to be patronising, but I am much older," he said.
"I'm much older and it was important for me to call and to be able to break the ice. I wouldn't have been able to do that when I was 25. I don't hold any hostility against him."
Hamilton explained that, regardless of how this year's title fight ends, he's confident that their relationship will simply reset for another battle in 2022.
"I feel he's a tremendous talent and I am enjoying racing with him. Do I agree with everything he does? It doesn't even matter," Hamilton explained.
"What matters is that he does him and he will learn, and all I can control is what I do and how I handle things. Whatever happens at the end of the year we are going to be shaking hands and we will be back to fight again the next year."
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