Valtteri Bottas ‘done and dusted’ with George Russell crash but pair ‘haven’t talked’
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Valtteri Bottas says he’s done talking about the crash with George Russell during round two of the F1 season, but did admit he hasn’t yet spoken to the Williams driver since the high-speed accident that ruined both of their races.
Tempers were flaring after the pair tangled last time out in Imola on lap 32, as the Mercedes driver attempted to defend his position into the Tamburello corner at 200mph.
As Russell tried to make the move on Bottas, the two collided and crashed out – causing Russell to angrily point all of the blame at Bottas in the aftermath.
The Mercedes junior driver has since publicly apologised for his part and said that he would speak to Bottas in private, admitting on Thursday he has spoken extensively to the team boss Toto Wolff to clear the air.
Yet, speaking ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix today, Bottas revealed he ‘had a missed call’ from Russell but says that the pair haven’t spoken since.
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“I heard about his post and apology and I read it,” said Bottas at Portimao. “But to be honest we haven’t spoken after the race, after the stewards. I did have a missed call on Monday morning but I was still sleeping!
“We haven’t spoken, but I’m sure it’s the same for George, it’s done and dusted, it’s history, there was no decision by the stewards, George apologised and time to move on.”
“It was a half decent hit, and it’s never fun when you’re in that situation but obviously it could have been a lot worse and I’m happy that there were no injuries and I was actually, on the Wednesday after, back on track at Imola for the 2022 Pirelli test and I felt fine.”
Russell, who impressed in 2020 in a Mercedes seat sitting in for Lewis Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix, reflected on the aftermath of the incident, and how he could have maybe done things a little differently.
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Wolff was left less than amused at both the crash and the subsequent comments from the pair and declared that Russell has ‘a lot to learn’, something the 23-year-old admits he’s been working on.
He added: “I think having had a week, even an evening, to let the emotions calm down, reflect on everything.
“I think the incident is one thing, it’s part of racing, and these things do happen. I think the actions I added afterwards were not my true self.
“I sort of went against my own instincts to walk away, and sort of show a bit of emotion, which was probably a very poor judgement call in the heat of the moment, which led on to a few more things later that afternoon.
“That’s why I felt it was necessary for me to put that out on Monday morning to apologise for my actions.
“I do want to lead by example, I do want to be a role model and those actions after the incident were not leading by example.”
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