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."
|Diego Costa nets fastest UEFA Super Cup goal ever|
|Everton feared missing out on Mina after World Cup strike|
|Barcelona 3 Boca Juniors 0: Messi, Malcom net as Barca win Joan Gamper Trophy|
|All Blacks stick with Barrett as Mo´unga misses out altogether|
|Modric benched for UEFA Super Cup clash with Atletico Madrid|
|Cipriani charged with assault after Jersey nightclub incident|
|Hamburg 1 Bayern Munich 4: Wagner and Muller hit braces in comeback victory|
|WATCH: Messi scores first goal as Barcelona captain|
|Iniesta, Xavi and Puyol were great teachers, says new Barcelona captain Messi|
|Moses retires from international football|
|Goals, assists, set-pieces - The stats that show De Bruyne is almost irreplaceable for City|
|Bergeron wins mammoth 24-man U.S. Amateur play-off|
|Hart to Burnley "not rocket science", says Dyche|
|Leipzig, Schalke reject Rudy transfer rumours|
|Yedlin knee injury not serious, Newcastle confirm|
|Bartomeu satisfied with Barcelona squad amid Pogba links|
|Kevin De Bruyne suffers knee injury|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger in concussion protocol|
|Kehrer to PSG not complete, say Schalke|
|Hopoate handed 10-year ban from NSWRL|
|Is this worth it? Injuries prompted Te´o to consider future|
|Croatia hero Subasic retires from international football|
|Iniesta makes it two in two for Vissel Kobe|
|Chelsea send out defensive duo on loan|
|Zaha 2023: Palace star means more than goals|
|De Jong set for Ajax stay despite Barcelona interest|
|Serena ´still at the very beginning´ of comeback|
|Ajax can benefit from Mourinho approach - Blind|
|Foley not convinced by reports All Blacks will drop Barrett|
|Zaha signs Crystal Palace extension|
|Burnley midfielder O´Neill makes A-League loan move|
|Godin yet to renew with Atletico Madrid amid transfer interest|
|Federer ´feeling better every day´ after Wimbledon disappointment|
|Kante comfortable with surprise new Chelsea role|
|Rugby Championship 2018: The numbers behind New Zealand´s dominance|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Bale ready to be Madrid´s shining light after five years in Ronaldo´s shadow|
|Rodgers unimpressed by absence of ´fit´ Boyata|
|Braves´ Acuna Jr. has arrived as a true MLB star|
|LA Galaxy 2 Colorado Rapids 2: Jackson´s deflected strike sees spoils shared|
|Victory offer postponed retirement, says Honda|
|Kyrgios forgets tennis shoes, Federer back in business|
|Williams knocked out as Garcia and Pliskova advance in Ohio|
|Kvitova sees off Serena in Cincinnati classic|
|Federer dispatches Gojowczyk in Cincinnati|
|Stead succeeds Hesson as New Zealand coach|
|Duminy encouraged despite South Africa´s mixed results|
|Thiem withdraws from Cincinnati Masters|
|Edwards joins Ospreys in consultancy role|
|Former Arsenal and Barcelona player Song joins Sion|
|I´m very happy with what I have - Spalletti not desperate for Modric|
|Roethlisberger evaluated for concussion after practice|
|Brady ´absolutely´ expects to face Eagles|
|Rugby Championship 2018: Reasons for optimism and concern for Australia|
|Wentz ´gonna be close´ for Eagles opener|
|Cleveland ´victory fridges´ to unlock beer if Browns finally win|
|England´s Watson suffers injury setback|
|Mariners reinstate Cano after 80-game suspension|
|AEK Athens 2 Celtic 1 (3-2 agg): Rodgers´ men dumped out of Champions League|
|Alonso to leave F1: Paddock reacts to Spaniard´s exit|
|Roma sign midfielder N´Zonzi from Sevilla|
|Alonso to leave F1: Who will replace Fernando at McLaren?|
|Extraordinary Zidane is in Real Madrid´s past - Lopetegui|
|Alonso to leave F1: Then and now - how the grid, teams and calendar have changed since 2001|
|Wawrinka and Azarenka receive US Open wildcards|
|Parma sign Napoli pair Inglese and Grassi on loan|
|Sandakan castles Proteas before Sri Lanka squeeze home|
|Ronaldo sale won´t stop Real Madrid winning - Ramos|
|Predators sign Ryan Ellis to eight-year, $50M contract|
|Curran, Woakes, Rashid - who makes way for Stokes in England´s Test XI?|
|Griezmann well positioned for Ballon d´Or, says Simeone|