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Russell Bottas relationship still intact despite Mercedes seat battle

Russell Bottas relationship still intact despite Mercedes seat battle

Russell Bottas relationship still intact despite Mercedes seat battle

Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale
Russell Bottas relationship still intact despite Mercedes seat battle

George Russell has insisted his personal relationship with Valtteri Bottas has not been damaged by the ongoing deliberations over the second seat at Mercedes for 2022.

The pair are vying for the opportunity to partner Lewis Hamilton next season, with Bottas potentially being ousted in favour of his British rival.

Tempers frayed between both drivers earlier in the season when they crashed during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola but Russell has dismissed any problems with the Finnish driver as they vie for one of the most coveted seats in F1.

"Our personal relationship is fine," said Williams driver Russell.

"Obviously, we are competitors and it is rare that two F1 drivers are best friends but Valtteri and I are both grown-ups.

"We have moved on from the past and there are no issues from my side at least."

Asked as to how the situation was from his perspective, Bottas replied: "All good, thanks for asking. Everything is fine."

Bottas race pace key to recover from penalty

Bottas, who finished second quickest in practice behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen, heads into Saturday's qualifying session carrying over a five-place grid penalty for causing the first corner meleé at the Hungarian Grand Prix before the summer break.

Asked if he would change his approach to counteract the effect of the penalty, Bottas said: "I think on this track the race pace is quite important if you compare qualifying pace versus race pace.

"I don't want to start out of the top 10. But of all of the tracks to have a grid penalty, it is definitely on the good side of the list because racing here is good.

"You can overtake if you have the pace so race pace is going to be the key."

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