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Russell forgot his place with Mercedes in crash with 'team-mate of sorts'

Russell forgot his place with Mercedes in crash with 'team-mate of sorts'

F1 News

Russell forgot his place with Mercedes in crash with 'team-mate of sorts'

Russell forgot his place with Mercedes in crash with 'team-mate of sorts'

George Russell has revealed to forgetting his place with Mercedes in the build-up to his spectacular Imola crash with 'team-mate of sorts' Valtteri Bottas.

Williams driver Russell, who has been nurtured by Mercedes throughout his career, was involved in a 200mph shunt with Bottas during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix which prompted an angry reaction from the British driver in the aftermath.

Russell even went so far as to question whether Bottas would have fought so hard for what was ninth place if it had been another driver given the duo are seemingly in the hunt for a seat with Mercedes next season.

The 23-year-old, who had also suggested Bottas was trying to kill them both, eventually issued an apology, and upon further reflection now claims there are "a lot of things" he has "taken away" from what unfolded.

In an interview with Channel 4, Russell said: “I think firstly, as a racing driver, one of the rules is that you should never crash with a team-mate.

"For me personally, obviously Valtteri is in a different car but I am a Mercedes-backed driver. I am in this position because of Mercedes.

“Lewis [Hamilton] and Valtteri are team-mates to me of sorts, and I think that is one thing that didn’t go through my mind in the heat of the moment.

“But secondly, as the stewards deemed it, it was a racing incident, it was unfortunate. But I was just disappointed in myself with how I reacted afterwards.

“I felt like I wasn’t me. I went against my own instincts to walk away from the incident because I wanted to show a bit of emotion and to be honest, my emotions were incredibly high having just crashed at 200 miles an hour. So many things ran through my mind.”

Russell has made clear that while he will not alter his driving style in future, he will be more mindful as to how he reacts.

"It isn’t going to change my racing approach when I’m racing against competitors," added Russell. "If I see an opportunity, if I see a gap, I’m going to go for it.

“But definitely I’ve learned that I need to handle things differently afterwards. I need to really take the full picture in before giving a rash judgment to the situation which is what I did.

"And hence why I felt like it was important to put an apology out there for the people that I felt like I let down with those actions after the race.”

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