Russell issues formal apology to Bottas for reaction to Imola crash

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George Russell has apologized to his team and to Valtteri Bottas for his over-reaction in the aftermath of his crash with the Finn in the Emilia Romagna GP.

Russell and Bottas came together on lap 30 in Sunday's race as the pair were fighting for P9. The Williams driver attempted an overtake move on the run down to Tamburello, only to lose control on the wet part of the track and spin into the Mercedes.

Both drivers were out on the spot, their cars heavily damaged, and with Russell initially blaming Bottas for the costly run-in.

On Monday, the Briton had toned down his criticism after reviewing extensive footage of the crash, but on Monday evening, Russell issued on social media a formal apology to Bottas.

"Yesterday wasn't my proudest day," wrote Russell. 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 on 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."

Imola is definitely not a lucky venue for Russell who was also overwhelmed last November when he crashed behind the safety car during a race in which he also had a strong chance of points.

Russell's message on Instagram received a massive wave of supportive replies, including one from F1's seven-time world champion, Sir Lewis himself!

"Strength comes from vulnerability," wrote Hamilton. "If you don't make the mistake you can never learn the lesson.

"Respect for taking responsibility. On to the next one."

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