The English world champion has faced questions after he was heard referring to Verstappen as a "dickhead" shortly before podium ceremonies in Bahrain, a comment picked up by microphones in the drivers' room.
Lewis Hamilton believes it will be hard to halt Ferrari's winning start to the season at the Chinese Grand Prix but still thinks Mercedes are the strongest team.
Several other drivers spun or went off the track as they tested the limits, with the cool and blustery conditions catching them out. Their straight-line speed in the last few races has been faster than ours and we have the longest straights here. Regardless of whether it is his fault or my fault, it doesn't really matter. "It's in the past", he added.
It wasn't clear how Verstappen reacted to the apology.
Lewis Hamilton: Hamilton, last year's champion as well as the original favorite to take this year's title, made a good comeback in Bahrain. Because it's quite easy and simple to blame the younger driver. While F1 retirement is still probably two or three years off, he told me recently how he sees fashion design as the next chapter in his life. But like I said, you know, these things happen. "There's no reason for me to change anything".
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Valtteri Bottas was third quickest, 0.099s behind Raikkonen but like his teammate he had opted to run the soft tyre for his best lap, the only two drivers of the top seven to do so.
Hamilton and Mercedes need a win to get back in the game with Sebastian Vettel 17 points ahead after winning the two opening races, and the Silver Arrows need to prove they can hit back.
Hamilton confirmed he and Verstappen had shaken hands at a fan-signing event at the circuit, with the Dutchman acknowledging the gesture.
Speaking on Thursday ahead of his handshake with Hamilton, Verstappen maintained the move was fair and he had not done anything "crazy".
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"Still, it's such a learning process with all the pressure being in a top team, and you're constantly learning". I honestly think I may have found a career that could equal my passion for racing'.