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
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku Prime

The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Prime

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship.

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021