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Bottas left Russell "nowhere to go", says Brawn

NEWS STORY
19/04/2021

F1 MD, Ross Brawn, has appeared to side with George Russell following Sunday's incident, the Briton claiming that Valtteri Bottas left the Williams driver "nowhere to go".

Other than Max Verstappen's (almost) faultless drive to victory, Lewis Hamilton's amazing comeback and Lando Norris' inspired drive to third, the other big talking point following Sunday's Grand Prix was who was to blame for the high-speed crash that caused the race to be red-flagged.

Barely had the dust settled following the high-speed clash at the infamous Tamburello corner, and George Russell having asked Valtteri Bottas if he was trying to kill them both, than fans, pundits and all weighed in with their opinion as to who was to blame.

While both drivers blamed the other, the stewards declared it to be a racing incident and deemed no further action was necessary.

However, in his regular post-race debrief, former team boss, champion constructor and now F1 MD, Ross Brawn appeared to suggest Bottas was more to blame for the incident.

"There will no doubt be an intense post-mortem of the accident," wrote Brawn on the official F1 website. "The positive thing is that both drivers escaped unhurt and the cars held up on impact to show how far we've come regarding the safety standards.

"Imola is quite a narrow track so there's not much space," he added. "When you add wet grass either side from the rain, it becomes very, very tricky.

"I'm sure both drivers will analyse the incident and learn from it but it did look like Valtteri drifted across and left George nowhere to go."

At a time Toto Wolff fears the cost of repairing the damaged Mercedes could impact planned upgrades due to the budget cap, having reviewed the incident, Russell has reigned back on his previous claims.

"When you can review everything and look at it in slow motion and everything, and from certain camera angles, it all looks very, very different," said the Briton. "One camera angle makes it look one way, another camera angle, like I said, when you watch it from behind on the CCTV footage it looked quite clear, in a different opinion.

"I was more frustrated because of the speed of the incident," he admits. "I've never, ever had a crash at the end of a straight when we're absolutely flat-out, and we've all seen the dangers of motorsport very recently and to be honest I would have reacted exactly the same had it been battling for the win, battling for ninth or battling for last. Because I just thought it was unnecessary and it was avoidable.

"As I said, Valtteri did nothing that was outside the rules, but you have to take an element of responsibility and consideration into the fact of the conditions. There's certain things you can do in certain ways when everything's stable, but when it's a damp track, there is a kink, and you're pushing someone towards the grass, onto the damp patches at over 200 miles an hour... there is a high risk of an incident, and that is why I was very disappointed because I just thought that was beyond a lack of respect, really, not towards me, but just a lack of respect towards these cars.

"Could it have been avoided? Yes. Was Valtteri in the wrong? Probably not," the Briton continued. "Could he have done something slightly more? Maybe. Was I in the wrong? I caused the crash by spinning, but was I wrong to go for that overtake? Absolutely not. You would have been foolish to lift at that position."

In reaction to Toto Wolff's claim that he should have approached the situation differently because he was essentially battling a Mercedes - a ludicrous comment when you consider the pair were battling on track for ninth - Russell said: "I've never been in a position where I'm fighting against a Mercedes. Williams has not been fighting against Mercedes for probably five years. So it's not even crossed my mind how I would fight against a Mercedes.

"As I said, it was not a reckless move," he insisted. "The move was totally on. Valtteri defended hard, and he was fair to do so. But we were three quarters of the way down the so-called straight. It wasn't like I lunged him from twenty metres back and crashed into the side of him.

"It was unfortunate, the incident would not have happened if it wasn't damp and if DRS was closed. It was just an unfortunate set of circumstances."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Imola, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 22/04/2021 12:31

"NO!
Ross Brawn is Wrong in This case and All those supporting him in this case is wrong also!

The F1 stewards rightly came to the conclusion that this collision between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas was a Racing Incident and no action will be taken!
Basically this means that Ross Brawn's opinion was wrong because the stewards have all the information that Brawn doesn't have!
Also essentially, the stewards decision means that Russell was more to blame and his reactions after the crash to Bottas and the media were quite unprofessional!

Ross Brawn has the right to his opinion but giving it is not without costs!
In this case, Brawn was ruled wrong, and shows that he probably made his remarks without going through all the information on the collision like the stewards did! Ordinary people and fans are entitled to be ignorant most of the time, as shown, but Brawn doesn't have that luxury being in his high F1 position!
Brawn used to be highly regarded, but with these comments and others since joining the F1 establishment, this estimation of him is slowly declining! "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by aroutis, 22/04/2021 9:55

"Ross Brawn is not only entitled to an opinion but is knowledgeable as very few individuals of what is called as F1.

And just because his point of view might be disagreeable to some, that gives no-one the right to bring in the "he is a briton", or "he used to work in Ferrari", or "he used to be in Mercedes" and so forth.

The guy is an authority. He can speak as such."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 21/04/2021 11:44

"@ SLR....I think that you're confused. In your final para [ 3 ] you acknowledge Brawn's inalienable right to express/hold an opinion but you then go and question whether he should actually have the right to voice an opinion!!! That looks to me like a 'cancelling' concept."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 21/04/2021 7:32

"You're completely wrong Mr. Ross Brawn!
It was almost totally George Russell's fault!

That's because Brawn is not a F1 racing driver!
And almost all F1 drivers on the grid had no sympathy for Russell!

Mr Brawn, you're entitled to an opinion, you're obviously British just like Russell, but in your high F1 position, should you be giving an opinion at all about a racing incident, especially since the your stewards disagrees with your opinion? "

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by kenji, 20/04/2021 0:40

"Brawn is entitled to express an opinion...regardless. Let's not introduce the hated 'cancel culture' into the comments section."

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6. Posted by JamesD, 19/04/2021 16:55

"Wind it in Ross - you're not running Ferrari, Honda or Brawn anymore.

Your stewards ruled no further action ... racing incident !!"

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