Rising British driver Lando Norris revealed on Friday that he had sent a personal message of apology to compatriot Lewis Hamilton for using "the wrong words" in congratulating him on his record 92nd victory.
The McLaren driver had said that the six-time champion had the best car and few competitors and was expected to win following his victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix last Sunday.
His comments created a storm on social media.
Speaking ahead of this weekend's two-day Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Norris said: "I never meant it to be put that way or taken out of context in a bad way – especially against Lewis.
"I saw how it was going down and I felt bad because it's not the person I am in any way, to not have respect, so I made a decision in the morning to put out a tweet, to issue my apology and message Lewis at the same time to set the record straight.
"I apologised to Lewis. I don't know if he knew about it at the time, but I never meant to say something like that in a bad way or put any bad light on him.
"I respect everything he has done, it's incredible -- no matter what."
Norris, 20, had finished a disappointed 13th in Portugal and was frustrated when he spoke to reporters after the race.
"He's in a car that should win every race basically," he said.
"He has to beat one or two other drivers. That's it. Fair play to him, he's still doing the job he has to do, but just another win for him."
Norris was also critical of Racing Point's Lance Stroll and admitted that he needed to learn to temper his comments.
"You have to be careful with what you think," he admitted.
"As much as I like voicing my own opinion – and that's what I did in a lot of ways – I maybe just didn't pick the right wording for what I said."