domenica, Maggio 26, 2024

Why Russell’s crash with Bottas revealed his deepest insecurities

Why Russell’s crash with Bottas revealed his deepest insecurities

One of the main talking points from the Imola GP (actually Gran Premio dell’Emilia Romagna e del Made in Italy) has to be the crash between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas on the approach to Turn 2. The amount of debris caused the race to be red-flagged, which allowed us to digest and further analyse the incident.

From Russell’s perspective, the collision was triggered by Bottas deciding to slightly move rightwards and too late. Looking at the on-board camera on the Briton’s car, it is clear that the Finn actually jolted the steering wheel at the very last moment. With this being part of a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ as Russell said in an interview, the Williams driver implied that Bottas might have violated such agreement on purpose.

“Perhaps if it was another driver, he wouldn’t have. So that’s what went through my mind”

Blunt, honest but perhaps too vulnerable for my liking. Not only did both drivers’ immediate altercation show signs of vulnerability, but also Russell managed to expose his own impatience and frustration as he went off with the press.

Being Toto Wolff’s protege and belonging to the new generation of F1 drivers, George Russell has started pawing for opportunities and consideration after sitting on the sidelines at Williams.


While former McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari proteges as Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc were promoted to high-profile teams (albeit unsuccessfully for Pierre), Russell’s career path is perceived as if the Briton was jogging in place.

As much as he proved himself on a Williams, overcoming plenty of difficulties linked to the car, Russell is still hungry for a reward he feels he never received. He has been paying his dues for two seasons straight, missing out on a massive win at Sakhir when Hamilton fell ill due to Covid.

Therefore, it is understandable from his side to fire back and vent his anger through the media. However, here is why Russell can be in the wrong. Toto Wolff was caught in a crossfire yesterday as he saw the present and perhaps the future of Mercedes collide.

The Austrian admitted that Russell “has a lot to learn” and labelled his claims on Bottas’ behaviour as “bullshit”. Obviously George did not handle the pressure well and let a full-blown stream of consciousness flow after the race, as he implicitly revealed his insecurities, fears and inner rage.


Keeping his composure is part of the breeding any top team would require from a youngster whose future has already been determined and is bound for greatness.

I wonder how long he could survive the Red Bull junior programme! Thankfully Russell finds himself in a less degrading environment, but still he needs to put up with the challenges and hurdles that are places in front of him as he progresses.

Hopefully Russell will learn from this and bounce back, storing his mind with more cautiousness in front of the press. Ultimately, this will please the man who is (or might have already) shaping his future.

Author: Beatrice Zamuner – @ZamunerB

Foto: F1TV

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