George Russell has apologized to Valtteri Bottas and Williams for the crash and his immediate reaction at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Immediately after the two drivers collided, Russell jumped out of his car to remonstrate angrily with Bottas and firmly blamed the Finn for the incident, claiming he had raced the Mercedes junior differently to anyone else on the grid. After the stewards opted to take no further action and Toto Wolff dismissed Russell’s comments about Bottas’ defending as “bull****”, Russell took to Instagram on Monday night to apologize.
“(Sunday) wasn’t my proudest day,” Russell wrote. “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 mine got the better of me. I apologize 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.”
While Bottas has yet to publicly respond, Lewis Hamilton replied to Russell’s post to offer words of encouragement.
“Strength comes from vulnerability,” Hamilton wrote. “If you don’t make the mistake you can never learn the lesson. Respect for taking responsibility. On to the next one.”
Some thoughts on yesterday: pic.twitter.com/xU07da7DCz
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) April 19, 2021