Auto Culture

Russell Issues Formal Apology After Crashing Into Bottas At 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix


Williams driver George Russell has issued a formal apology after crashing into Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and knocking both of them out of the race.

After initially insisting that the crash was the fault of Bottas, Russell finally admitted that he “takes responsibility” for brashly trying to pass Bottas – late in the race for ninth place – in still-wet conditions that replays show him putting a tire on the grass in the attempt and then careening into the Mercedes.

Immediately afterward, Russell then exited his damaged car and proceeded to verbally admonish Bottas as he still sat in his damaged car and hit Bottas’ helmet with his hand. Bottas responded with the internationally recognized middle finger salute.

Race stewards decided that neither driver was predominantly to blame in the incident and took no disciplinary action.

Russell said in a statement on social media: “It wasn’t my proudest day. It didn’t pay off and I have to take responsibility for that. Having had time to reflect on what happened afterwards, I know I should have handled the whole situation better. Emotions can run high in the heat of the moment and yesterday mine got the better of me. I apologise to Valtteri, to my team and to anyone who felt let down by my actions. That’s not who I am and I expect more from myself, as I know others expect more from me. I’ve learned some tough lessons this weekend and will come out of this a better driver and a better person for the experience.”

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