George Russell has admitted Toto Wolff was “angry” and “upset” after he collided with Valtteri Bottas at the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The Mercedes race winner said the accident created a “messy situation” at a time when he was bidding for a full-time drive at the Silver Arrows.
Russell took to the grass to avoid Bottas who tightened the gap into the braking zone. This caused his Williams to dip a wheel in a puddle and spin into the Finn at high-speed.
Both cars were destroyed in the incident with the pair then scrapping in the gravel trap. Russell told the High Performance Podcast: “I was furious with Valtteri which was probably not the right thing to do. That was an opportunity that I saw that has now just disappeared.
“It wasn’t that I just crashed into Valtteri or Mercedes, that is points that we have lost and I thought he had lost for us. That was probably a lesson for me that you need to look at the overall picture for other people’s view before taking a snap judgement.
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“So he was obviously very upset and frustrated about that. And then when you see headlines ‘George Russell crashes into Mercedes driver’, these are not headlines you want to be seeing. It was all a messy and not a good situation. We left it for the following day.”
The 25-year-old has now admitted he called Bottas’ chief engineer to apologise and cool tensions after the accident. However, Russell stressed the incident did no long-term damage to his chances of securing a deal with the team.
He explained: “I went around his house for lunch on Saturday and talked over and everything was no problem at all and we moved on from it.”