Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean have rallied around ‘gutted’ driver George Russell after the image of the young British star dejected on the side of the track at Acque Minerali rocked the F1 world.
The young Williams’ driver again showed his potential after qualifying 13th on the grid and was running 10th with just 12 laps to go on the weekend.
'CAN’T BELIEVE IT’: Ricciardo soars in 'crazy' Emilia Romagna GP
'CAN’T HAPPEN': Uproar over Max Verstappen's 'disgusting' slur
Russell was on track for his first F1 points of his burgeoning career, but made a mistake and his tyres spun out under the safety car.
Following the spin-out, the British star cut a desolate figure on the side of the track as he sat motionless in disbelief.
"Gutting to be honest. I don't really know what to say," Russell said afterwards.
"I was working as hard as I could to keep the tyres working, I was pushing as hard as I could throughout the race and it's probably the most on-the-limit I've ever been throughout the whole of the race.
"I think it was really showing and we were in such a good position. Obviously, I just went over the limit under the Safety Car and as soon as I lost the car it was already too late and I was in the wall.
"Really sorry for the team and unacceptable from my side really."
Hamilton, Grosjean rally around Russell
The young driver, who Fernando Alonso recently touted as one of the future stars of the sport, took to social media and apologised to his team.
I don’t know what to say. No excuses. I’m so sorry guys.
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) November 1, 2020
But Russell received support from legend and winner of the race Hamilton.
“George, you were giving it your all," he wrote.
"It's ok to make mistakes and it's ok to feel the pain. I've made more than I can remember. You're great bud. Keep your head up and keep pushing, on to the next one."
Grosjean also sent a message of support and told Russell he knows the feeling after he also crashed behind the safety car in 2018.
"Man, I know the feeling. Will take some time to forget it, but what you do is mega. Keep pushing,” he wrote.
Fans also felt Russell’s pain after watching him cut the forlorn figure on the side of the track.
George Russell: May finally score a point
Also George Russell: pic.twitter.com/yAQZF2xkLX
— Dacre (@jpa_f1) November 1, 2020
55/63: Devastating for George Russell, who was on track for his first F1 points finish #ImolaGP
— F1.co.uk (@f1couk) November 1, 2020
— Joshua Wells (@joshuawells93) November 1, 2020
Gutted for George Russell driving so well. Was on for points. Hard lesson to learn. He looks devastating 😢#ImolaGP
— Karen Geordie lass ⚫️⚪️🏃♀️🏋️♂️🏉🏎 (@1karenannwalker) November 1, 2020
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.