Russell: Actions after Bottas crash "very poor judgement"

Williams driver George Russell has called his actions in remonstrating with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas immediately after their crash in the 2021 Imola Formula 1 race “very poor judgement”.

Russell: Actions after Bottas crash "very poor judgement"

Russell climbed from his wrecked FW43B and ran to accost Bottas while the Finn was still sat in his own badly damaged car after the pair had crashed battling over ninth place last time out in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

It was a crash that was judged a racing incident by the Imola stewards, after Russell’s right-side wheels had hit a damp patch of track leading up the Tamburello chicane.

In the pre-event press conference for this weekend’s Portuguese GP at Portimao, Russell was asked how he now reflected on the incident – after he initially gave fiery assessments regarding the event to the media at Imola and then issued a statement apologising to Bottas the day after the race.

Mercedes junior Russell said: “Having had a week, even just an evening [immediately after the race], to let the emotions calm down and reflect on everything, I think the incident is one thing – it’s part of racing and these things do happen.

“I think the actions I did afterwards were not my true self.

“I sort of went against my instincts to walk away and almost show a bit of emotion, which was probably a very poor judgement call in the heat of the moment.

“[And that] led on to a few more things later that afternoon. That’s why I felt like it was necessary for me to put [the statement] out on Monday morning to apologise for my actions.

“Because I do want to lead by example and I do want to be a role model and those actions after the incident were not ‘leading by example’.”

Read Also:

When asked if he had been spoken to by Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, Russell replied: “Yeah, of course – Toto and I have spoken extensively since the incident.

“The contents of that will remain private, but he’s been very supportive, very constructive.

“Our relationship has not been damaged at all following the incident – if anything, quite the opposite. And likewise with everyone at Williams.”

Russell also highlighted his promising pace and position in the Imola race before the crash with Bottas, saying Williams should be “proud of the progress” it has made to have been “fighting for points on merit”.

“[Williams has] been incredibly supportive,” Russell said of his current team, which had also lost Nicholas Latifi in an opening lap crash at Imola on a weekend where it had showed very good pace in practice and qualifying compared to its ‘Class C’ rivals.

“They want me to attack, go for opportunities and we’re proud to have been in that position.

“We were in 10th position fighting for points on merit. We’d been there at points last year, but through fortunate opportunities – of other cars retiring.

“But we were truly there on merit, going for an overtake.”

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren calls for secret ballots on F1 rule changes
Previous article

McLaren calls for secret ballots on F1 rule changes

Next article

Hamilton: Social media sites must do more to fight racism

Hamilton: Social media sites must do more to fight racism
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Prime

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021