'Not who I am': Prodigy's classy response to F1 controversy

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
George Russell (pictured right) arguing with Valtteri Bottas after their collision (pictured left) and Russell eating a snack (pictured right).
George Russell (pictured right) has apologised to Valtteri Bottas after their collision (pictured left) at the Emilia Romagna GP. (Getty Images)

F1 rising superstar George Russell has swallowed his pride and apologised to rival Valtteri Bottas in a classy response after their crash controversy.

Russell and Bottas were involved in a nasty collision at the Emilia Romagna GP last weekend that ended their race.

OUCH: Daniel Ricciardo usurped by teammate in embarrassing F1 moment

'TOO AGGRESSIVE': Ricciardo backtracks on 'f**king idiots' dig

Both drivers pointed the finger at the other for the nearly 300km/h wreck, which resulted in a furious Russell remonstrating with Bottas as the Finn emerged from his wrecked Mercedes.

To add to the drama, Bottas didn't back down either after the race and questioned whether the Williams driver's move was necessary considering it had just been raining and the conditions were tricky.

But in a classy gesture, Russell has reached out to apologise to his fellow driver and team.

"Yesterday wasn't my proudest day," Williams driver Russell, 23, said in a statement on social media.

"Having had time to reflect on what happened afterwards, I know I should have handled the whole situation better. Emotions can run high in the heat of the moment and yesterday mine got the better of me.

"That's not who I am and I expect more from myself, as I know others expect more from me. I've learned some tough lessons this weekend and will come out of this a better driver and a better person for the experience. 

"I apologise to Valtteri, my team, and anyone who felt let down by my actions."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Mercedes team boss fumes at Russell

Bottas and Russell could be teammates, or the Finnish driver could find himself looking for a new home if Mercedes opts to go with the young Brit in his place.

Russell's impressive fill-in job for Hamilton at the 2020 Sakhir GP prompted heavy speculation that the pressure would be on Bottas to prove his worth, but the Imola crash left Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff unimpressed with Russell.

"George should have never launched into this manoeuvre considering that the track was drying up,” he said.

“It meant taking risks, and the other car is a Mercedes in front of him. And in any driver’s development, for a young driver, you must never lose this global perspective.

“So, yeah. Lots to learn for him, I guess.”

Williams, who have an engine supply deal with Mercedes, has served as a testing ground for Russell, who backed the 23-year-old throughout his junior career.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.