Lewis Hamilton believes the feeling of mutual respect between himself and Sebastian Vettel has improved as the pair return to the scene of an infamous clash this weekend.
At last year's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Vettel crashed into Hamilton under the safety car, receiving an in-race penalty and a telling off from the FIA for his troubles.
The German went on to finish fourth, one place ahead of his title rival, who branded the Ferrari driver "a disgrace" following the incident.
It was Hamilton who ultimately had the last laugh as he claimed a fourth drivers' championship, equalling Vettel's tally, and on Thursday the Mercedes man spoke more positively of the duo's relationship as they return to Baku.
"It's good to see fire within the people that you're competing with, it's also good to see that they're not perfect because I guess nobody's perfect," Hamilton said.
"We all make mistakes but it's more so how people handle it and how they progress [that] is what you can really learn from.
"He's continued to progress as the champion that he is. How he presents himself, how he speaks, he continues to grow and the words that he uses today.
"The respect has grown, actually, a considerable amount since then. I'm sure it will continue."
Lewis Hamilton opens up on…— Formula 1 (@F1) April 26, 2018
*That* Vettel clash: “Nobody’s perfect”
Silver Arrows' form: “The others have definitely stepped up”
His future at Mercedes: “I’m not waiting [for anything]”#AzerbaijanGP #F1https://t.co/0cvRv9yTmu
Vettel claimed the opening two races of the 2018 season but could only finish eighth last time out in China, allowing Hamilton to cut the gap in the standings to nine points by coming fourth in Shanghai.
And the defending champion is unfazed by his relatively slow start in the early weeks of the campaign.
"It's only been three races. We would like to have won races but it has been a learning process," he said. "We know it's a three-way battle. It is not going to be easy and it requires a lot of work to perform at our best.
"The Ferraris and Red Bulls were quick here last year and I anticipate it will be the same and we have no idea where we will be this weekend. We are still the same team and I believe we can battle it out with these guys.
"Now we have Red Bull close to their best and Ferrari at their best, if we are able to pull through and deliver as we have in previous years it would be the biggest achievement this team would have accomplished."
|Gundogan looking forward to ´real test´ against Liverpool|
|Cubs move closer to clinching NL Central|
|Valverde bewildered by Lenglet red card as Barca boss questions VAR|
|Cronk a ´long shot´ to play in NRL Grand Final|
|Cleary re-signs with Panthers until 2024|
|Bills stun Vikings, Chiefs QB Mahomes impresses again|
|Tiger feels he can surpass Snead´s record after 80th victory|
|Ronaldo mentally stronger than others, says Allegri|
|MLS Review: Ibrahimovic scores as Galaxy end seven-game skid, Dallas reclaim top spot in west|
|Rose told Woods it was ´about time´ after win|
|Dustin Johnson regains number one ranking|
|Pogba: Sanchez will deliver at Man United|
|Federer, Zverev help Europe defend Laver Cup|
|I couldn´t sit or stand – Tiger Woods reflects on back woes after ending drought|
|Snead´s record in sight – Tiger Woods´ 80 PGA Tour wins|
|Nicklaus, Magic Johnson, McIlroy and Kane – Sports stars celebrate Tiger´s Tour win|
|Tiger Woods season in review: Tour Championship win caps remarkable comeback|
|49ers fear QB Garoppolo suffered torn ACL|
|World of golf is proud of Woods – Rose|
|WATCH: Tiger followed by incredible sea of fans at East Lake|
|Three takeaways from the 2017-18 PGA Tour season|
|Mbappe shows off signed Pele shirt|
|Tiger timeline: Woods´ fall and rise|
|Spieth´s breakthrough, Garcia´s Masters moment - Events between Tiger´s triumphs|
|Tiger Woods: I was close to tears on the last hole|
|Woods earns first win since 2013; Rose claims FedEx Cup|
|Pogba implores Manchester United to ´attack, attack, attack´|
|Valverde, Busquets and Vidal criticise Lenglet dismissal|
|Tiger Woods: The stunning statistics|
|Fitness hindering Dybala form, says Allegri|
|BREAKING NEWS: Woods claims first title since 2013, Rose wins FedEx Cup|
|Povetkin struggles leave Joshua with no Wilder fear|
|Guardiola targets Barca, Bayern dominance with Premier League priority|
|Centurions Rohit and Dhawan put India in final|
|Eagles top Colts as Wentz makes his return|
|Barcelona 2 Girona 2: Stuani brace punishes Lenglet red|
|Frosinone 0 Juventus 2: Ronaldo redeemed as champions extend perfect start|
|Gattuso: No alibis for two-faced AC Milan|
|Bangladesh hold on despite late Afghanistan charge|
|Composed Woods hits turn with five-shot lead|
|Chiefs´ Mahomes has another record-breaking Sunday|
|Saints QB Drew Brees passes Brett Favre for most career completions|
|Emery hints Leno may need patience after Cech display|
|Picamoles scores four as Montpellier batter 14-man Toulouse|
|Messi breaks LaLiga record|
|Worcester fend off prowling Tigers, Sarries go top|
|AC Milan 2 Atalanta 2: Last-gasp Rigoni rescues a point|
|Neymar keen to repay supporter affection|
|Pellegrini rues West Ham´s wastefulness|
|Paris Saint-Germain´s positive response buoys Tuchel|
|Lewis rekindles fond memories with Vilamoura triumph|
|Arsenal 2 Everton 0: Lacazette, Aubameyang extend winning streak|
|Stephens suffers as Osaka withdraws in Wuhan|
|Rhinos run riot to secure Super League status|
|Risk brings reward for victorious Marquez|
|Let´s have some fun - Wentz tweets message to Eagles fans ahead of return|
|Maybe in a year Chelsea will be at Liverpool´s level – Sarri|
|Under-pressure Rodgers bemoans ´bitty´ Celtic start|
|Slater should be banned for Grand Final - Fittler|
|Simon ends Bachinger fairytale to lift Metz title|
|Dominant Thiem reigns in St. Petersburg|
|Neymar hands young fan his shirt during Paris Saint-Germain victory|
|Quick-Step Floors storm to fourth time trial gold|
|Jorginho sets new passing record in West Ham draw|
|Rubiales slams ´crazy´ LaLiga schedule|
|Rennes 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Tuchel´s Ligue 1 record stays perfect|
|Why so serious? Joshua reveals Fury has blocked him on Twitter|
|West Ham 0 Chelsea 0: Sarri´s 100 per cent start comes to frustrating end|
|Marvellous Marquez reigns in Aragon yet again|
|Real Madrid will not go to the USA with LaLiga - Perez|