Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel draw veil over their feud

• Vettel apologised after incident in Azerbaijan two weeks ago
• Hamilton fastest in both practice runs for Austrian Grand Prix

Publicly at least as they prepare for the Austrian Grand Prix, a civilised air has returned to Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel’s relationship after it reached boiling in point in Baku. Both drivers made all the right noises when they were face to face at the FIA press conference on Thursday. But perhaps it also revealed that the bonhomie characterising their interaction over the early part of this season was simply another greasepaint mask both have been sporting over the rictus grins of their steely determination to win.

Intriguingly in this scenario, the first to break from the jovial tone would have been perceived to have handed a margin of advantage to the opponent. For these two drivers, this was a psychological battle characterised by smiles sheathing the blades. In truth any interaction they share has been and will be, a distraction as David Coulthard pointed out in Austria: “I don’t think either driver actually particularly cares about building strong relationships with any other driver in the paddock.”

Related: Hamilton-Vettel could be great F1 rivalry but penalty rulings must be open | Giles Richards

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Source: Formula 1

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