Bottas insists no ‘agreement’ broken in Russell crash
Posted On April 27, 2021
Valtteri Bottas denied George Russell’s claim that the Finn had broken a “gentleman’s agreement” when the two drivers clashed in last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Russell collided with the Mercedes driver while attempting to pass the latter on the approach to Tamburello, the Williams charger putting a wheel on the slippery white line of the track and losing control, hitting the side of Bottas’ car and sending both drivers heavily into the wall.
The subsequent fracas littered the track with debris and left both teams with a significant repair bill.
In the aftermath of the incident, Russell felt that Bottas had “jolted” to the right, leaving the Williams with no room to maneuver, a move the Briton said broke a tacit agreement between drivers.
“Between all of the drivers, we’ve had this gentleman’s agreement that when there’s a faster car approaching with the DRS, you don’t jolt the steering wheel at the very last moment,” argued Russell.
“It’s the smallest of moves, but when you’re going at 220 mph, and you’re going 30 mph quicker than the car ahead, it’s massive.”
Russell apologized the next day for his irked reaction to the incident while also holding himself accountable for the collision.
However, ahead of the Williams driver’s post-race atonement, Bottas contradicted Russell’s claim that he had breached any sort of “gentleman’s agreement”.
“No, I don’t see it that way at all,” said the Finn. “I didn’t make any sudden moves. I think it’s quite clear from his onboard as well, I always left a space.
“No, from my side, it was clean. And of course I’m defending, I’m not going to make any room for him. But also when I race, I have respect. So I see it differently than him.”
Read also – Mercedes: Much of Bottas car ‘damaged beyond repair’
Bottas said he could have been “a lot more aggressive” when defending his position, insisting Russell was the one who ultimately made an ill-fated choice by risking a pass on the damp part of the track.
“He knew that it was going to be damp there, because we have gone there lap after lap,” Bottas said.
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“I knew as well, and it was just not a place to go in those conditions on slicks. But he still went there.
“It was his choice to go there, I was doing my job trying to defend, and I’m not going to move away and give him the dry patch back. That’s how it goes.”
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