Russell asked Bottas if he was ‘trying to kill us both’

Mark Scott
Valtteri Bottas George Russell Imola


George Russell asked Valtteri Bottas if he was “trying to kill” the pair of them after their scary crash at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The pair were involved in a high-speed collision at Imola on the approach to Tamburello which left the Mercedes W12 and Williams FW43B in tatters, though fortunately both drivers emerged unhurt.

A furious Russell would head straight over to Bottas to show his displeasure, and the Briton said he had asked the Mercedes driver a serious question when confronting him.

“I asked him if he was trying to kill us both,” Russell revealed to Sky F1.

“We’re going incredibly fast. We know the conditions. In his eyes he is not really fighting for anything. A P9 is nothing for him but for us it’s everything.

“I’m going to go for the move and the move would have been absolutely easy. There was just no reason to jolt like that. It’s a gentleman’s agreement between the drivers [not to defend like that].

“We’ve always said it is going to cause a massive collision one day and here we are.

“We’re both grown men. We’ll have a conversation and let the heat down a little bit. I’m sure he is upset and frustrated with me as I am with him.

“The faintest of movements at that speed is quite a massive thing. It’s not just the speed, it’s the speed difference. I was going 30mph quicker than him and about to overtake him.

“Perhaps if it was another driver he wouldn’t have done that.”

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Explaining the incident itself, Russell said: “I was coming up on Valtteri massively fast.

“I had the slipstream, I had the DRS and just as I pulled out he jolted very, very slightly to the right which is a tactical defence that drivers in the past used to do, like the ‘Verstappen move’ in 2015.

“There is a gentleman’s agreement in that’s not what you do because it is incredibly dangerous.

“In completely dry conditions I would have been fine but it put me onto the wet patch [on the grass] and I lost it.

“It’s an unfortunate incident but we’re going at 200 mph and you need to respect the speed and the conditions.”

Bottas made it clear to the media that he felt Russell was to blame for their crash, while also stating that he could not hear what Russell was saying to him.

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