Russell apologises to Bottas after Imola incident

George Russell has apologised to Valtteri Bottas for his behaviour after their Emilia Romagna Grand Prix crash, and admitted that it was not his 'proudest day' in Formula 1.

The Williams driver was left furious with Bottas after believing that the Mercedes driver had deliberately squeezed him off the track as they battled for position at Imola and came together in a 200mph accident.

In the wake of their incident, Russell angrily marched to Bottas' car to let his feelings be known. He later suggested that his Finnish rival had behaved differently to him because they were both fighting for a chance to drive for Mercedes next year.

But having slept on the matter overnight, Russell was more conciliatory on Monday as he posted an apology on social media.

He said he had to take responsibility for his overtaking move having ended in an accident, and accepted he did not behave in the correct manner afterwards.

"Yesterday wasn't my proudest day," he said. "I knew it would be one of our best opportunities to score points this season and, when those points matter as much as they do to us right now, sometimes you take risks. It didn't pay off and l have to take responsibility for that.

"Having had time to reflect on what happened afterwards, I know I should have handled the whole situation better. Emotions can run high in the heat of the moment and yesterday mine got the better of me. I apologise to Valtteri, to my team and to anyone who felt let down by my actions.

"That's not who I am and I expect more from myself, as I know others expect more from me. I've learned some tough lessons this weekend and will come out of this a better driver and a better person for the experience.

"Now it's full focus on Portugal and a chance to show what I'm really about. Thanks for all the messages, both positive and negative. They will all help me to grow."

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Bottas had laughed off Russell's suggestions that he had defended much harder against the Williams driver than he would have against anybody else.

"Sorry, I lost my aluminium foil hat somewhere. It's quite a theory," said the Finn.

"I'm always going to defend to any driver, I'm not keen to lose any positions. That was normal defending. It could have been a lot more aggressive if needed.

"I don't agree with any of that at all. I was doing my thing. No matter who I would have been defending, it would have been exactly the same."

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

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