Russell apologises to Bottas over outburst

·1-min read

British driver George Russell has issued a public apology to Valtteri Bottas for his behaviour after their high-speed collision at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Italy.

Russell and Bottas crashed as they battled for ninth place in Imola while travelling at more than 300km/h.

Russell, who felt Bottas had driven dangerously, called the Finn a "f****** p***k" before confronting him and slapping him on the helmet.

Neither driver was hurt and stewards declared it a racing incident.

"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.

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

Russell's post arrived after Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff branded his theory that Bottas deliberately caused their coming together as "bulls***".

In the moments after Sunday's race, Russell suggested that Bottas would have behaved differently to another driver, with both men in contention to partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next season.

But an annoyed Wolff said: "That is bulls***. The whole situation is absolutely not amusing for us. I am going to speak to George and make my point."

Bottas' Mercedes was severely damaged in the accident and Wolff believes the repair bill could have a knock-on effect in this season's development race.