Bottas Fires Back at Russell’s Bold “Theory” Behind Imola F1 Crash

Published 04/19/2021, 5:20 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 27, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after qualifying in third place Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


Following the nasty crash in Bahrain between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas, the former was quick to suggest that it was the Finn’s fault. However, Russell didn’t just stop there. He went one step further, hinting that Bottas caused the crash in order to dampen his chances of stealing the Mercedes drive from the Finn in 2022. In reaction to that, Valtteri offers his statement regarding Russell’s bold theory.

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It’s no secret that the battle for the Mercedes drive is heating up. But to suggest Bottas had rather evil intentions within him to go up to the extent of crashing Russell out of the race was a little too much to take for the #77 driver. He rubbished this theory.

Bottas said, “Sorry, I lost my aluminium foil hat somewhere. It’s quite a theory.

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“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.”

Formula One F1. Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during practice REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

“No matter who I would have been defending, it would have been exactly the same.”

To the neutral eye, it appeared both drivers were at fault, with Russell being the one who could be blamed a little bit more than Bottas. But the Finn has made it clear who he thought was at fault for this incident.

Valtteri Bottas blames George Russell for Imola crash

The Mercedes driver said, “Obviously he knew exactly that it was going to be damp there, because we have gone there lap after lap. And I knew as well, and it was just not a place to go in those conditions on slicks.

“But he still went there. It was his choice to go there, I was doing my job trying to defend, and I’m not going to move away and give him the dry patch back. That’s how it goes.”

Formula One F1. Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Williams’ George Russell in action during the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

As a result of that crash, both drivers lost out on some valuable points. Especially more so for Russell, as the Williams man looked set to score his first point for the Grove-based team; looks like that stat will have to wait a while longer to be altered.

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Bottas’ DNF hurts him lesser since he was already a long way off where he should’ve been. But the DNF means he has already lost some valuable places in the Drivers’ championship table, and that certainly won’t help him, come decision making time at Mercedes.

But what this incident taught fans is that there is certainly something brewing in the minds of drivers. The competition in F1 is real and cutthroat. How will this result and the subsequent fallout shape the future of Bottas and Russell? Only time will tell.

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DIVE DEEPER

George Russell Reveals What He Told Bottas After Imola F1 Crash

4 months ago

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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