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Russell "right" to make move on Bottas despite Wolff fury - Williams

Russell "right" to make move on Bottas despite Wolff fury - Williams

Russell "right" to make move on Bottas despite Wolff fury - Williams

Russell "right" to make move on Bottas despite Wolff fury - Williams
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson believes George Russell had every right to attempt to pass Valtteri Bottas during Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix despite Mercedes boss Toto Wolff's condemnation of the move.

The pair triggered a red-flag period when colliding just before the braking zone for Tamburello at the fastest point of the circuit as Russell tried to make a move on the Finn whilst in the points.

Russell was highly critical of the Mercedes driver in the aftermath, querying if Bottas was "trying to kill us both" when confronting him in the Tamburello gravel trap, although he has since apologised.

Wolff also made his feelings known by suggesting Russell should have had more consideration in passing a Mercedes given his allegiance to a team that has supported him over the years.

Robson, though, has firmly backed Russell, who was simply unfortunate in catching the slippery white line at the edge of the track at high speed.

"It's a frustrating end and a frustrating accident, quite a big accident," said Robson.

"At least we were on the front foot. I think the tyres, we had had them a couple of laps longer than Valtteri so I think we had them in a good window, the grip was good and more than Valtteri had I think.

"We had good straight-line speed and DRS had just been activated so George had a really good chance to get past him and he rightly took it.

"Then I think he just touched the white line, which in those conditions was still a bit slippy. Unfortunately, that was the end with the spin and into Valtteri's car."

Williams' hunt for a first points finish since Germany 2019 continues despite entering the race with a spring in its step following a qualifying session where both Russell and Nicholas Latifi reached Q2.

Canadian Latifi did not reach the end of the first lap, however, crashing heavily in wet conditions after contact with Nikita Mazepin on the run from Acque Minerale to Variante Alta.

"Conditions were definitely tough out there," Robson added. "It was a bit strange to have quite a lot of standing water and difficult wet conditions in a few corners with other parts of the track quite dry.

"I think a small misjudgement on his part caused him to spin and then he thought he was rejoining a clear track and the whole pack had gone past.

"But a bit of contact with the Haas and that was him in the wall, unfortunately, which was a real shame. It is one of those things in those conditions."

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