George Russell issues apology to Valtteri Bottas following race-ending crash
"I know I should have handled the whole situation better."
George Russell has issued an apology to Mercedes driver, Valtteri Bottas, after a collision on Sunday brought both of their outings to a close.
Disaster hit when the pair collided on the run-up to Turn Two at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari – hitting the barriers and causing major damage to both the Williams and Mercedes machines.
With debris littering the track, a red flag was summoned on Lap 34, marking an end to the day for Russell and Bottas.
After the incident occurred, George Russell was caught on camera slapping Valtteri’s helmet in anger, but the 23-year-old has since issued an apology, saying emotions got the better of him.
“It wasn’t my proudest day. I knew it would be one of the best opportunities to score points this season and, when these points matter as much as they do to us right now, sometimes you take risks”, he said.
“It didn’t pay off and I have to take responsibility for that.
“Having had time to reflect on what happened afterward, I know I should have handled the whole situation better.
“Emotions can run high in the heat of the moment and mine got the better of me.
“I apologise to Valtteri, my team, and 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 from me.
“I have learned some tough lessons this weekend and will come out of this a better driver and a better person for the experience.”
Bottas has yet to respond publicly, however, speaking after the race, the Finn driver said:
“I’m okay physically. It was a half-decent shunt but obviously could have been a lot worse at that speed.
“George got close and decided to go for a move. Obviously, the track is quite narrow, there is only one dry line and he went for the outside, there was space all the time for two cars but he obviously lost the car and hit me.
“I haven’t spoken to him so far: I couldn’t hear a thing what he was on about and obviously we will have a different perspective on it.
“It was a tough race until then, from where I started it wasn’t easy to make ground. But I need to take whatever positives I can from this weekend and move on.”