Lewis Hamilton has vowed to be "a more aggressive driver" in the 2022 Formula 1 season, following his controversial battles with Max Verstappen in last year's championship.

The two 2021 title protagonists clashed repeatedly on track during the course of their season-long battle, with each penalised for causing collisions at various points of the campaign.

But in many cases where Verstappen aggressively attacked Hamilton, the Mercedes driver generally backed out of contact, and in the case of the British Grand Prix - where Hamilton put a forceful move to the inside at Copse and Verstappen did not do likewise - the pair collided.

Their respective defences also came under scrutiny late in the 2021 campaign, with Verstappen's initial move to try and hold Hamilton back during the Brazilian GP putting confusion over F1's racing rules in the spotlight, while Hamilton went off track on the first lap of the Abu Dhabi decider and was allowed to keep his position, to Red Bull's fury.

When asked by Motorsport.com if he had considered Verstappen's 2021 on-track attitude during the off-season and if he had decided to be more aggressive this year as a result of that reflection, Hamilton replied: "I will be a more aggressive driver this year, you'll see."

Speaking earlier on Friday during the pre-FP1 press conference at this weekend's Bahrain race, the same question regarding Hamilton potentially changing his wheel-to-wheel for 2022 was put to Verstappen.

He replied: "I don't know. I mean, I guess you shouldn't ask me that question."

Hamilton also stated that a desire to avenge the controversial circumstances of his 2021 defeat was "not my psyche"

Lewis Hamilton at Bahrain GP 2022

He added: "That's not how I'm approaching this season. I'm just approaching the season trying to be the best that I can be.

"I want to see if there's a way I can somehow raise my game – drive at least how I was at the end of last season.

"And just that collaboration with the team, there's going to be lots and lots of hurdles along the way. But I love that. I don't have that [revenge] viewpoint.

"I think I'll just try and be the best driver I can be this year. I think there is still more that I can do, both in and out of the car.

"We still have a lot of work to do on the diversity front here as a sport, so I'll continue to fight for that too."

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