Russell received “tough love” from Wolff after Bottas crash

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell says there are “no issues whatsoever” between him and Mercedes over his crash with Valtteri Bottas at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix George Russell once again talked about the crash between him and Valtteri Bottas at Imola.

After the incident Toto Wolff said that, as a Mercedes junior driver, Russell should be more careful when fighting against his team. The young Briton says everything has been sorted after the race.

“If anything, my relationship with Toto has grown since the incident in Imola,” the Williams driver told Autosport.

“There was a lot of tough love. But he ultimately wants to extract the absolute maximum from me, or from what he believes I can achieve.

“And you know, I think I’m mentally strong enough to be able to take this stuff on the chin, take it on board, reflect on it, and come back stronger.  Obviously, emotions were high… from all accounts.

“But my relationships with everybody to be honest – from everyone at Williams and to a number of the key people at Mercedes, who I’ve spoken with since, is better than ever.

“I think often these difficult moments bring you closer together.”

Russell went on to explain how Wolff had delivered his feedback after the race.

“We had a very good conversation about it all. I took the evening to reflect upon it, and that morning [the next day].

“And, to be honest, throughout the whole week, but as soon as I was back in my house on Sunday night, I knew what I did wrong.

“And it wasn’t necessarily crashing to be honest. They weren’t disappointed with me at crashing – although it was far from ideal.  But, I think, all of the actions following were not up to my standards.

“And, as I said afterwards, when fighting a teammate, you have to be absolutely clear that that overtaking opportunity is a safe one to do so.

“And in that moment, I didn’t really comprehend that it was effectively a teammate of mine.  Mercedes are a family to me, as Williams are a family to me.

“And Lewis and Valtteri are teammates to me, as Nicholas [Latifi] is a teammate to me.

“Had that been Nicholas in the exact same circumstances, I probably would have backed out of it and I would have had words with him afterwards about it.

“But, if that was any other competitor, as I saw Valtteri, I went for it. Because I knew that was a points-paying opportunity for me.

“I had Kimi [Raikkonen] right behind me, who, had I not gone for the move, maybe he would have overtaken me and got the 10th position.

“But at the end of the day, it’s unacceptable to crash with a teammate. It was just a lot of things altogether, but no issues whatsoever [with Mercedes] and Toto and I speak weekly.

“We don’t even talk about it now, it’s behind us,” concluded Russell.

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