Valtteri Bottas Recalls His Terrifying ‘Oh Sh*t’ Moment With George Russell in Imola

Published 08/13/2021, 7:14 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – June 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after qualifying in second place Pool via REUTERS/Darko Vojinovic


Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is having an underwhelming 2021 season. The Finnish driver has secured just one pole with no victories this season. Although he has kept pace with championship leaders Hamilton and Verstappen in qualifying, Bottas has been lackluster in his races.

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Bottas has also been involved in two of the most dramatic accidents of the season. He was solely to blame for his first lap misjudgment in Hungary but believes that he was merely a passenger in the Imola crash with George Russell.

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I can laugh about it now, but luckily nothing happened: Valtteri Bottas

In his interview with Hypebeast, Bottas mentioned that he was happy to come out of the crash with Russell unharmed. He also recalled the incident and mentioned it was not great for him to crash into the barrier at that speed.

“It wasn’t fun. You know I can laugh about it now, but luckily nothing happened,” said Bottas.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Williams’ George Russell in action during the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

“In those kinds of speeds and on that track where there’s not really that much of a runoff area when you become a passenger, you’re just waiting for the impact. You don’t know where you’re going to end up,” said Valtteri.

Valtteri continued, “You can’t control the car and what you’re going to hit next or which way to go, so it’s not fun. But luckily, the final hit into the barrier was straight on and it was quite a big barrier, so it definitely took some of the energy away.”

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It could’ve been worse, but it’s not great. When you’re caught in that situation, you basically say “Oh s*it” and wait for the impact.” said the Mercedes driver.

The Mercedes driver expresses his plans for the rest of the season

The Mercedes driver may not be in contention to win the driver’s championship, but he can still help the German team secure the constructor’s championship. And that seems to be Bottas’s plan for the rest of the season.

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Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the race with third place Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

“Obviously, the main idea is to win the race, but if I can’t win the race, then I want to pick up the maximum points for the team that’s possible. I like to go step by step and not think too far ahead, but as a team, we definitely want to win this season,” said Bottas.

Mercedes are currently 12 points ahead of Red Bull and Bottas could still prove to be a difference-maker in this season.

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Can Bottas help guide Mercedes to the constructor’s title? Let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

369 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sport Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been a ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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