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Russell won't change his approach despite Imola clash

NEWS STORY
29/04/2021

While saying that he has learned from his clash with Valtteri Bottas, George Russell insists that he will not be changing his approach to his driving.

Though the Imola stewards declared that clash a "racing incident", Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff wasn't quite as forgiving, the Austrian believing that the Williams driver shouldn't have been battling the Finn in the first place.

Though Russell subsequently apologised to Bottas for the clash which ended both their races, having initially blamed the Mercedes driver and even remonstrated with him in the moments after the crash, the Briton insists that it will not affect how he approaches his driving.

"There's a lot of things I've taken away from it," he tells Channel 4. "I think firstly, as a racing driver, one of the rules is that you should never crash with a team-mate.

"For me personally, obviously Valtteri is in a different car," he continues, "but I'm a Mercedes-backed driver, I'm in this position because of Mercedes, and Lewis and Valtteri are team-mates to me of sorts.

"I think that's one thing that didn't go through my mind in the heat of the moment," admits the Briton, who, though 2000/1 to win the 2021 title, according to NJ gambling, is odds-on to line up for Mercedes in 2022.

"Secondly, as the stewards deemed it, it was a racing incident," he adds, "it was unfortunate, but I was just disappointed in myself with how I reacted afterwards. I felt like that wasn't me. I went against my own instincts to walk away from the incident because I wanted to show a bit of emotion. To be honest, my emotions were incredibly high having just crashed at 200 mph. So many things ran through my mind.

“It isn't going to change my racing approach when I'm racing against competitors," he insists. "If I see an opportunity, if I see a gap, I'm going to go for it... But definitely I've learned I need to handle things differently afterwards.

"I really need to take the full picture in before giving a rash judgement to the situation, which is what I did and hence why I felt it was important to put an apology out there for the people I felt like I let down with those actions after the race."

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