Russell: Bottas may not have made same move on another driver

George Russell has questioned Valtteri Bottas's "dangerous" move in their Imola Formula 1 crash on Sunday, saying he would have acted differently "perhaps if it was another driver".

Russell: Bottas may not have made same move on another driver

Russell and Bottas crashed out while battling for ninth place halfway through Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, colliding at high-speed on the approach to Turn 2.

Russell gained on Bottas using DRS and moved to the right-hand side of the track to try and overtake, only for Bottas to make a slight move to the right.

It caused Russell to lose control of his car and spear into Bottas's Mercedes, leaving both cars out of the race and causing a red flag.

Both drivers were left fuming by the incident. Russell tapped Bottas's helmet when he went to his cockpit to vent his anger, later saying that he asked the Finn "if he was trying to kill us both." Bottas responded by showing his middle finger.

Read Also:

Bottas claimed after the incident that it was "clearly" Russell's mistake and that he left enough room, but Russell felt Bottas had broken a gentleman's agreement.

"We've had this gentleman's agreement that when there's a faster car approaching with the DRS, you don't jolt the steering wheel at the very last moment," Russell said.

"I pulled out, I got the slipstream, I pulled out, and just as I pulled out, Valtteri moved very slightly, and that just put me off-line and put me onto the wet stuff.

"In perfectly dry conditions on a very ordinary circuit, it's dangerous, let alone on a very narrow track when we are turning and there's wet patches. So an unfortunate incident.

"But equally, it's been inevitable, an incident like that would occur when drivers make small moves like this. It's the smallest of moves, but when you're going at 220 mph, and you're going 30 mph quicker than the car ahead, it's massive."

Russell questioned why Bottas would make such an aggressive move when battling for ninth place, and pondered whether he would have acted different with another driver.

Russell is a member of Mercedes' junior programme, and has been tipped as a possible successor to Bottas at the team in the future.

"Obviously I was very pissed off and frustrated with him at the time," Russell said.

"I'm fighting for P9, a P9 for him is absolutely nothing. Almost meaningless. He did a move that you would do if you were fighting for victory on the last lap of the race.

"It begs the question why he would do that for P9. Perhaps if it was another driver, he wouldn't have. So that's what went through my mind.

"Like I said, he's not fully to blame, I don't think I'm fully to blame. But it could have been avoided. I think this is a good example for the stewards, very minor movements like this will create crashes, and here we are."

Russell said he had "no doubts" Bottas felt he was to blame for the incident, but said he was aware of the right etiquette when battling at high speed.

"I'm sure from his perspective, he feels it's my fault, I've got no doubts about that," Russell said.

"Equally, he knows the closing speeds of these cars, when you're behind with slipstream and DRS. He knows that is not the correct thing to be doing.

"Like I said, if you're fighting for victory on the last lap of the race, maybe. But not in conditions like this and not mid-race when he is P9, which is nothing."

shares
comments

Related video

Bottas: Imola F1 crash with Russell "clearly his mistake"

Previous article

Bottas: Imola F1 crash with Russell "clearly his mistake"

Next article

No further action on Bottas-Russell 'racing incident'

No further action on Bottas-Russell 'racing incident'
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Emilia Romagna GP
Drivers Valtteri Bottas , George Russell
Author Luke Smith
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.

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.

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
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals Prime

Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals

The tragic events of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix changed Formula 1 forever. Here, 17 of the drivers who took part explain how they coped with the devastating deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021