George Russell hit out at Valtteri Bottas after their high-speed clash during Formula 1’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Russell was battling Bottas for ninth place in the rain-hit race when they made contact on the approach to the Tamburello chicane.
The pair suffered a violent collision and subsequent contact with the barriers, with the race red-flagged while the debris was removed.
“I was coming on Valtteri massively fast,” said Russell to TV media after the race. “I had the slipstream, I had the DRS, just as I pulled out he jolted very, very slightly to the right, which is a tactical defence that drivers of the past used to do.
“The sort of Verstappen move of 2015; there’s a gentleman’s agreement that that is not what you do because it’s incredibly dangerous.
“In completely dry conditions I would have been fine but it just put me onto the wet patch and I lost it.
“An unfortunate incident but we are going at 200mph you need to respect the speed and the conditions.
“We’re going incredibly fast, we know the conditions… in his eyes he’s not really fighting for anything, a P9 for him is nothing, but for us it’s everything. I’m going for absolutely everything, the move would have been absolutely easy. There was absolutely no reason to jolt like that.”
Russell added that he will speak with Bottas about the collision and wondered whether the Finn would have made the same move against another driver.
Russell is part of Mercedes’ driver roster and has been tipped as a potential Mercedes driver for 2022.
“We’re both grown men, we’ll have a conversation and talk about it, let the heat die down a bit,” he said.
“I’m sure he’s upset and frustrated with me as I am with him. The faintest of movements when you’re travelling at 200mph is actually quite a massive thing.
“More so it’s not just the speed, it’s the speed difference, I was probably doing 30mph quicker than him and about to overtake him. Perhaps if it was another driver he wouldn’t have done that.”
Bottas, though, laid the blame fully at Russell’s door.
“I was still struggling with the warm up of the tyres, with the dry tyres,” he said.
“Then George could close, he obviously went for an overtake in a place there is pretty much only one dry line.
“I’ve seen the replay, there was definitely space for two cars all the time. I don’t know what he was [talking] about, trying to say something. It was completely his fault, quite disappointing.”