Russell planning clear-the-air call with Bottas in coming days

George Russell says he is planning to call Valtteri Bottas in the coming days to clear the air following their Formula 1 crash at Imola on Sunday.

Williams driver Russell retired from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after colliding with Bottas at high-speed on the approach to Turn 2 as they battled over ninth position.

Russell and Bottas blamed each other for causing the crash in the aftermath of the incident, which sparked a red flag and almost wrote off Bottas’s Mercedes car.

Russell said Bottas broke a gentleman’s agreement between the drivers about movements at high-speed - something Bottas denied, who said that he was “clean” and did not change his line.

The stewards deemed the crash to be a racing incident, but did confirm that Bottas’s line heading to the corner was unchanged.

Following the crash, Russell went to the cockpit of Bottas’s car and “asked him if he was trying to kill us both”, having also called him a “f***ng prick” on team radio. 

Russell said after the stewards’ meeting that he would talk to Bottas about the incident to clear the air in the coming days.

“Valtteri and I will talk afterwards and we will clear the air,” Russell said.

“Obviously in the heat of the moment, there are a lot of emotions, but I’ve got no intentions to hold any grudges or have any bad relationship with any driver on the grid.

“I mean it is in my intentions to clear the air with him. I’m sure we will probably have a phone call this week just to put it behind us and move on.

“We’re all racers. We’re all battling for position. And at the moment it’s incredibly disappointing, sour, for all of us. You know, your heart stops for a moment when you crash at over 200 miles an hour. You just don’t know what’s going to happen.

“My anger towards him at the time was more that I thought he put us both in harm’s way and it was an incredibly scary incident to be honest, at that speed.

“Fortunately we both walked away from it with no battle cars. But obviously it could have been very different.”

Read Also:

Russell said in the immediate aftermath of the incident that he did not understand why Bottas was defending in such a fashion for ninth place, adding: “Perhaps if it was another driver, he wouldn’t have.”

Russell is a member of Mercedes’ junior programme and has been tipped as a possible replacement for Bottas in 2022.

Asked about the comment, Russell said: “There is no tension at all between Valtteri and I.

“But obviously you can take that comment as you wish really. I think it was pretty clear how it was intended.

“But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he’s just fighting for absolutely every position. And as I said, he is his right to do so.”

Russell’s suggestion was labelled “bullshit” by Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, while Bottas himself said he had “lost my aluminium foil hat somewhere”, calling it “quite a theory."

shares
comments

Related video

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Previous article

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Next article

Russell apologises to Bottas after Imola incident

Russell apologises to Bottas after Imola incident
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Emilia Romagna GP
Drivers Valtteri Bottas , George Russell
Teams Mercedes , Williams
Author Luke Smith
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021