George Russell issues a public apology to Valtteri Bottas

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG

The Russell/Bottas saga appears to be nearing its conclusion, as the young Briton issued a public apology to Valtteri for his behaviour after their crash.

After George Russell and Valtteri Bottas‘ violent crash at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Russell immediately stormed to Bottas’ car and started to give him a piece of his mind. The Finn gave him a one-finger salute after which George tapped his helmet and walked off.

Following the race both blamed each other for the crash, while Russell also accused Bottas of defending too aggressively, even suggesting it was done on purpose because the Briton is thought to be a candidate for a Mercedes seat in 2022.

After Russell settled down a bit and watched the replay, he ultimately admitted that Bottas was “probably” not at fault. On Sunday evening the Briton’s rhetoric became much more peaceful.

“Valtteri and I will talk afterwards and will clear the air,” Russell said.

“In the heat of the moment there is a lot of emotions, but I’ve got no intentions to hold any grudges or have any bad relationship with any driver on the grid.

“It’s in my intention to clear the air with him, I’m sure we’ll have a phone call with him this week to put it behind us and move on.

“We’re all racers, we’re all battling for position, and in the moment it is incredibly disappointing, sore, for all of us, and your heart stops for a moment when you crash at over 200mph. You just don’t know what’s going to happen.

“My anger towards him at the time was more that I thought he put us both in harm’s way and it was an incredibly scary incident at that speed.

“Fortunately we both walked away with it without battle scars but obviously it could have been very different.”

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Today the Williams driver issued a public apology to Bottas on social media.

“Yesterday wasn’t my proudest day,” Russell wrote.

“I knew it would be one of our best opportunities to score points this season and, when those points matter as much as they do to us right now, sometimes you take risks. It didn’t pay off and I have to take responsibility for that.

“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, to my team and to anyone who felt let down by my actions. 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. Now it’s full focus for Portugal and a chance to show what I’m really about.

“Thanks for all the messages, both positive and negative, they will all help me to grow.”

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