Flavio Briatore in China reportedly apologised to Lewis Hamilton after giving a scathing interview to Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Renault boss was quoted as predicting Hamilton will "throw away" the 2008 title, and slammed the hype surrounding McLaren's championship leader.
"You should tell him that he is a formula one driver, not a Martian," said Briatore. "He is not Muhammad Ali."
According to British newspapers, Briatore regretted his comments on the eve of the Chinese grand prix and moved to apologise to the 23-year-old driver.
"Briatore spoke to a Mercedes official, who he asked to convey his apologies to Lewis," a McLaren insider in Shanghai told the News of the World.
Daily Express correspondent Bob McKenzie added: "Briatore said he had not meant to be offensive and although he did not see Hamilton, he asked for his apology to be passed on."