Toto Wolff angrily dismissed George Russell’s claim that Valtteri Bottas caused the massive crash in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix because he raced him differently.
Russell was livid after the pair collided at top speed heading to the Tamburello chicane, accusing Bottas of jolting to the right to spook him and causing the Williams driver to lose control on a wet track. The stewards disagreed, saying “at no time did either car maneuver erratically.” Wolff similarly dismissed Russell’s claim that Bottas would not have defended firmly against another driver.
“That’s b*******,” Wolff said. “The whole situation is absolutely not amusing for us, to be honest. It’s quite a big shunt. Our car is a write-off and in a cost-cap environment that is certainly not what we needed. It’s probably going to limit the upgrades that we are able to do.
“Simply the fact that we ended there by losing it on the wet, because there was no contact before that, it was losing it on the wet, making both cars crash out is not what I expect to see.”
The incident that brought out red flags in Imola 🚩#ImolaGP 🇮🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/Z18dCPXwOZ
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 18, 2021
Wolff also believes Russell should have actually been racing Bottas differently because it was a Mercedes that he was attacking, and he’s part of the Mercedes young driver program.
“There is never such a situation in life where one is 100 percent to blame and the other zero,” Wolff said. “The whole situation should have never happened.
“Valtteri had bad first 30 laps and should have never been there, but George should never have launched into this maneuver considering that the track was drying up – it meant taking risk and the other car in front of him was Mercedes. Any driver development, any young driver, you must never lose this global perspective. Lots to learn for him, I guess.
“You need to see that there is a Mercedes and it’s wet, so there is a certain risk to overtake and the odds are against him anyway when the track is drying up. I don’t want him to try to prove anything to us because one thing I can say, knowing Valtteri for five years, is that he is not trying to prove anything.”