Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has called George Russell’s remark on his collision with Valtteri Bottas as utter “bulls**t”. Russell had said that Bottas would have never collided “if it was another driver”.
Wolff acknowledged that Russell still has a “lot to learn” following this incident.
The Williams driver tangled with Bottas on lap 32, just moments after Hamilton himself drove through the gravel. The rain had made the driving conditions very tricky at the Emilia Romagna GP.
Both Russell and Bottas had an argument at the side of the track where they were seen blaming each other for the accident. Wolff was surprised as to why the incident happened in the first place, considering the fact that both were Mercedes-backed drivers.
“The whole situation should have never happened,” Wolff said.
“Valtteri had a bad first 30 laps, and shouldn’t have been there. But George should have never launched into this manoeuvre, considering that the track was drying up.
“It meant taking risks, and the other car is a Mercedes in front of him. In any driver’s development, for a young driver, you must never lose this global perspective.
“So yeah, lots to learn for him I guess.”
After the race, Russell in an interview said, “We’re both grown men and we’ll have a conversation and talk about it. Let the heat die down a bit.
“I’m sure he’s upset and frustrated at me as I am with him. The faintest of movement’s when you’re travelling at 200mph is quite a massive thing and more so, it’s not just the speed, it’s the speed difference.
“I was probably going 30mph quicker than him and about to overtake him, and perhaps if it were another driver he wouldn’t have done that.”
Wolff however felt that this explanation was rubbish.
“The whole situation is absolutely not amusing for us, to be honest,” Wolff said.
“It’s quite a big shunt. Our car is almost a write-off in a cost-cap environment that is certainly not what we needed, and probably it’s going to limit upgrades that we’re able to do.
“Simply the fact that we ended there by losing it in the wet, because there was no contact, losing it on the wet, and making both cars crash out is not what I expect to see.
“It was a bad shunt. Utter bullsh*t. There wasn’t a lot of friendly exchanges between the two, I guess.
“But we need to look at it again because it takes two to tango. Maybe it’s a 60-40 but I wouldn’t know in which direction.
“I haven’t seen George yet – he didn’t come [to see me]. I keep teasing him, I said if he does a good job he can be in a Mercedes, if not we’re doing the Renault Clio Cup and today we’re more close to the Renault Clio Cup.”
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