George Russell Confesses to One Regret In ‘Heat of the Moment’ Imola Crash With Bottas

Published 04/29/2021, 9:48 AM EDT
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – Second place qualifier George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


At the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, George Russell did his relationship with the Mercedes team no favors. After he collided with Valtteri Bottas, Russell blamed the Finn, but team boss Toto Wolff was not buying it. The Austrian insisted that the Briton raced too hard against the older driver, and it cost both of them.

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The FIA declared that the collision was just a “racing incident,” but Wolff had stern words for Russell. According to him, the Mercedes junior driver should not have taken risks, especially when up against one of the works cars. Wolff recalled Ayrton Senna’s famous dialogue, “If you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are not a racing driver.’ However, he did note that the move was a little too aggressive for his liking.

George Russell changed his tune after gaining some perspective

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In the immediate aftermath of the race, Russell kept insisting that he was in the right. However, in a recent conversation, he confessed that he saw the situation from Wolff’s perspective.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 16, 2021 Williams’ George Russell in action during practice REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

He said, “There was a lot of things I have taken away from it. I think firstly as a racing driver one of the rules is that you should never crash with a team mate and for me personally obviously Valtteri is a in a different car but I am a Mercedes-backed driver, I am in the position because of Mercedes. Lewis and Valtteri are team mates to me of sorts.

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“I think that is one thing that didn’t go through my mind in the heat of the moment.”

A day after the race, a much calmer George Russell publicly apologized for his role in the accident. This was largely a response to his red-blooded reaction to the Finn when the Williams driver stepped out of the car. Russell acknowledged the stewards’ decision and kicked himself for reacting too strongly.

Despite this, the young Briton is not going to change his approach to racing. In his words, if an opportunity presents itself, he will simply take it and hope for the best. However, George Russell needs to learn to handle himself properly when things do not go his way.

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Dhruv George

11443 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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