Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

Bottas says Imola crash is “history” after reading Russell’s apology

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says the collision between himself and George Russell in the last Formula 1 race at Imola is “history” and he’s ready to move on.

While the stewards cleared both drivers over the crash, Russell initially blamed Bottas for the race-ending contact in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. He retracted his claim in a public apology on his social media feed on the evening after the race.

Bottas revealed the apology was posted after Russell unsuccessfully tried to call him earlier that day. “I heard about his post and apology and I read it,” said Bottas.

“To be honest we haven’t spoken after the race, after the stewards. I did have a missed call on Monday morning, but I was still sleeping. But we haven’t spoken.

“But I’m sure it’s the same for George. It’s done and dusted, it’s history. There was no decision by the steward. George apologised and time to move on.”

The Mercedes driver said he has no after-effect from the crash, which occured at the fastest point on the track at Imola. “I’m feeling fine, feeling good, feeling ready for the weekend,” he said.

“It’s never fun when we’re in that situation but it obviously could have been a lot worse and I’m happy that there was no injuries. I was actually, the Wednesday after, back on track in Imola for the 2022 Pirelli test and I feel fine.”

Bottas said he’d spoken to Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff following the collision. “We had a chat after just to go through the situation, which is normal,” he said. “But apart from that, we agreed [to] take the positives and learn from the negatives and move on.

“Kind of one to forget really. One positive for sure is that it was only race two of the season and there’s 21 to go.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Bottas says Imola crash is “history” after reading Russell’s apology”

  1. It has been rather convenient for Bottas and Mercedes to have the discussion be about Russell. It’s easier than explaining Bottas’ “stellar” performance and why after several years of poor performances he is still in that seat.

    “The pinnacle of motorsport” my ass.

    1. He is getting number 2 in WDC almost every year and contributing to Mercedes WC, so why not? More interestingly, he often helped eliminate threats coming from Ferrari and RedBull teams, unlike Gasly, Albon, or even Vettel.

      As a team principal, before I go with RUS/HAM combination I have to be sure that RUS behaves the way I want to make sure I win the Constructors championship. Don’t break it if it’s working.

    2. Mercedes won 13 out of 17 races … so tell me how did he fail?

      Reply moderated
  2. Valtteri didn’t call him back then, having the missed call on his phone.

  3. Not true. Both have an ongoing feud.

    1. Oh, ignore my first two words. Shouldn’t have said that.

      1. You got a call from Toto too?

        1. It was a missed call, I was away at that time.

        2. It’s none of your business. I blocked his number because he and his team are a bunch of traitors.

  4. Really Bottas will only have one thing on his mind this weekend, and for the foreseeable future and that will be “how can I get this car to go faster”

    Running around in 6th to 12th place is not where he, or any driver for Mercedes or RBR wants to be because it makes them look incompetent. His focus, like Perez, will be on trying to keep their car in the top 4 because anything less is pretty much a career killer.

    1. I am sure he will. And that is exactly what a race driver should focus on, right @dbradock!

      If getting heat into the tyres is a bigger issue for him than for Lewis, than he at least has a a “guide” to where the opportunities are. And yeah, both him and Perez’ job will be to be right towards the front, unlock the pace that is there and be a bit of a benchmark for where the car is.

  5. I’m sure VB would like TW to forget that race.

  6. NEVER. FORGET. THE. INSULT.

  7. This didn’t age well

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