George Russell has revealed he tried reaching out to Valtteri Bottas following their coming collectively at Imola 2021, however bought nowhere…
In 2021, on the height of the hypothesis linking George Russell to Valtteri Bottas’ race seat at Mercedes for the next season, the pair collided heading into Tamburello at Imola in the course of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
With Bottas off the tempo that weekend, Russell had been lining up the Finn for an overtake when he touched the moist grass alongside the observe and speared into the facet of Bottas – each had been out on the spot in what was a vastly dramatic collision.
George Russell and Valtteri Bottas collide at Imola
The crash noticed Russell react with fury, clambering out of his destroyed automobile to strategy Bottas and ‘slap’ the Finn’s helmet – incomes himself a middle-finger response from Bottas in return.
Russell felt Bottas was guilty for the collision, revealing afterward what he’d run over to say to his rival.
“I asked him if he was trying to kill us both,” Russell revealed to Sky F1.
“We’re going extremely quick. We know the situations. In his eyes, he’s not actually preventing for something. A P9 is nothing for him however, for us, it’s all the pieces.
“I’m going to go for the transfer and the transfer would have been completely straightforward. There was simply no cause to jolt like that. It’s a gentleman’s settlement between the drivers [not to defend like that].
“We’ve all the time mentioned it’ll trigger a large collision someday and right here we’re. We’re each grown males. We’ll have a dialog and let the warmth down somewhat bit. I’m certain he’s as upset and pissed off with me as I’m with him.
“The faintest of actions at that velocity is sort of a large factor. It’s not simply the velocity, it’s the velocity distinction. I used to be going 30mph faster than him and about to overhaul him.
“Perhaps if it was another driver he wouldn’t have done that.”
Bottas firmly blamed Russell for the crash, saying: “I might see him earlier on the straight, then I seen that he moved to the appropriate. From the replays I noticed, I all the time left area for 2 vehicles to be there, however he clearly misplaced it and hit me, and that was recreation over.
“I don’t know what he was on about, as a result of it was clearly his mistake. So I used to be not pleased with him. But that’s how it’s.”
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George Russell rang Valtteri Bottas – a call that went unanswered
With hindsight, and Russell somewhat older and wiser after spending the final two seasons at Mercedes as he usurped Bottas, the British driver spoke about how he had reached out to the Finn following the crash – however by no means heard again.
“I did give him a phone call, which he didn’t answer,” Russell revealed on the Beyond the Grid podcast.
“I did [leave a message], which was like, ‘Give me a call whenever you have a moment’.
“But we’ve never spoken about that crash, ever. We’ve never spoken about when I joined Mercedes, we’ve never spoken about any of that.”
Asked whether or not it’s as a result of he and Bottas don’t converse in any respect, Russell denied it – saying he and the Alfa Romeo driver have common chats, however simply have by no means broached these awkward subjects.
“No. Because by the end of that year, we would bump into each other – we’d have a chat, we’d have a normal chat,” he mentioned.
“You know, we regularly converse on the drivers’ parade and there was not one single ounce of awkwardness in any respect.
“And as I said, it’s just part of the business, part of the job, and it’s never personal.”
Russell spoke about his personal emotions on moments of rivalry like that between drivers, such because the one earlier this 12 months in Baku when Max Verstappen branded him a ‘d**khead’, with the Mercedes driver saying he would by no means maintain fiery moments within the warmth of battle towards any of his rivals.
“Oh, no, not at all,” he mentioned.
“There’s by no means an apology wanted. I’m making an attempt to consider an event the place we’ve [Verstappen] collided on observe collectively however I don’t suppose there’s ever actually been one.
“But it doesn’t matter what’s been mentioned. In these moments, inside an hour after the race or in the course of the race in case you’ve come collectively and also you’re on the sidelines collectively, it doesn’t matter what’s mentioned.
“It’s water under the bridge, you move on and you might not be best pals for the next couple of races but we’re all mature enough to recognise it’s just racing.”
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