How Russell seriously upset Mercedes in huge Bottas F1 crash

Avaldati 19 apr 2021
When the F1 stewards declared the massive accident between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas at Imola a racing incident, that could have been the end of it. But both drivers didn’t want to leave it there, and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff even voiced his displeasure. Against a backdrop of Mercedes’ uncertain 2022 driver line-up plans - which will affect both Bottas and Russell next year - Scott Mitchell explains all the key details of what happened during the crash and why the post-race fallout was so acrimonious


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  • Hamilton supported and backed by royal family which insists Mercedes to blame other drivers.The same thing happened to Nico,now bottas...Merc will make their cars wantedly a faulty ones..What Nico had gone through in Singapore and so many places..which makes Lewis to win championship titles...Royal family giving extra for FIA too...

  • I don’t see a problem with his attempt to overtake a Mercedes. Just his actions and attitude towards bottas. Russel acted like a child when it was sort of his fault

  • As someone who really wants Russel to get the merc seat, this event saddens me. The incident on its own I don’t really care about, but what George said afterwards definitely hurt his reputation in Mercedes, and my, eyes. I kind of wished he’d just kept his head down and stopped all this drama from kicking up


  • Thanks for this analysis. Most apt!

  • Bottas squeezed him, just another on a list of poor sportsmanship by Merc drivers. Heaven forbid you try to pass them, they'll just squeeze you out or cut you off....

    • Did you forget the beginning of the race? It’s ok when someone else does it ?

  • Since racing is overtaking others, shit happens.

  • dont overtake my drivers and i may give you a job next year you will get payed a lot more and i will make you famous wink wink !!! depends how gullabl new drivers are and well dun toto wulff if it works job dun winning by desertion

  • wow its almost like tot wolf thinks he owns the sport, he can fuck off, cant win if you dont take risks

    • esp against a mercedes domiated sport

  • Toto was unhappy about russel reaction after the incident. Everyone is missing the point

  • Toto and Russell too to an extent need to understand that Russell works for Williams as things stand today - even if Mercedes is the Engine supplier. Imo Russell too obsessed with racing for Mercedes and forgoes his loyalty with Williams. Williams need to get tough and get a third driver to challenge Russell's position in the starting line up.

  • Bottas is a serious under achiever

  • C' mon Toto! Russel just followed Senna "I you don't go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver"at

  • So Bottas turning right on him didn't force him off the track?

  • Not aloud to pass a merc. Bad look on Toto...again.

  • did Russell really try to shift the blame of the crash on Bottas

  • Almost like Hamilton crashed into Rosberg. Germans at Mercedes love English drivers crash their cars into "Team" drivers......because Wolff is Totoly blind....

  • Dude the hell do you get stock videos that are literally flawless?? How???? Are they really paying rhat much for that footage???

  • George said that toto and him became closer after that crash

  • I see the crash like this: Bottas followed the only dry line on the track and Russell tried to pass from the wet part, Bottas didn't leave any more space as necessary as he followed the dry line on the track, like everybody should do with slicks. I bet he did not expect such an attempt to overtake him there and thus didn't leave any extra space on his right side, as that would've forced him out of the dry line. Had he done that, they both would've had two wheels on wet and two wheels on dry, I bet they would've crashed either way.

  • Wolff's statement about how Russell should've handled the attempt is utter bullshit. Trying to intimidate other drivers by threatening their future careers for presenting a fight should carry some sort of sanction. Very unsportmanlike behavior. The driver has DRS, and Bottas did defend his position. Race incident, pure and simple, one of the risks of driving F1.

  • Russel have the perfect mind set to be the kamikaze driver he is

  • BottASS

  • I know it’s bad but this is racing, accidents can happen. Toto doesn’t need to act like a baby (just like when he said Lewis entering a close pit lane was unfair)

  • what avout the halo... i would not like it cuz i would see the mid (i hope i said it right)

  • 5:06 Wolff says: "It's wet and there was a Merc so there's a risk to overtake." OVERTAKING IS ALWAYS RISKY. It wasn't wet at that point. He says as well that the odds that he was able to make the move where aganist him. THEY WEREN'T. He had DRS and a huge overspeed. The odds were FOR him. While your racing, your not calculating the odds, your just going for it.

  • 4:45 That ego of Mercedes is just insane😡😤 "...especially that it ment taking a risk aganist Mercedes." "Yeah, against any other Team it's fine, but against a Merc?" And then Wolff says. "It is very expensive to rebuild the car and they have less money for the next season." Bro, Mercedes have so much money that 10 Million or so is nothing for them. The only reason why he says it's Russels fault is because Mercedes needs a bit of money to rebulid the car and can't invest as much as he wants for the next season😡😡

  • Totos view that mercedes should always be on top and no one should even try to race them just proves the sport has a lotta issues. Lewis and max are the only 2 people racing, everyone else is just trying to keep up. In a car race, where there 20+ entries, but only 2-4 actual race cars on track, you really lose something as far as the competition. For someone to be upset that someone raced them during a race?? yeah, i just cant grasp the reasoning...i know f1 deals in team prestige and stuff more so than indy cars or nascar does, so that basically means that only a few select teams will have the capabilities of keeping up and racing for constructors points more so than personal points for drivers, but it doesnt make the sport very fun to watch... dont fault drivers for doing what they came to do, race. That mentality is whats ruining f1 in my opinion. 'Were better and always win, so no one else should even try' is a terrible outlook for a racing team, but even more so for fans when its adopted by everyone in the sport. Give em hell, George. I look forward to the day you get a good car and can actually show us what you got.

  • Russell seems quickly at pointing fingers and make too many statement saying that its Bottas fault.

  • Was a senna move

  • How was a Williams overtaking a Mercedes

  • It's sad how Bottas and Russell where race each other

  • trying to race... in a race!!!! ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING

  • I don't think Russel should be punished just for making a competitive move against another team. Toto is a good guy, but he has no right to control him just because there is a chance Russel might drive for Mercedes one day.

  • I never rated Russell

  • Toto is sore but can afford to fix it and likely merc will win 2021. Bottas needs to convert poles to podiums. George - well stay in will/merc if they respect your talent or move if they don't. We'll be seeing you in f1 for a while me thinks.

  • For god's sake give George a better seat. Hamilton never got this kind of handicap in his F1 career - he had 100% cotton wool privilege from day 1

  • he didn't put his tyres on the grass, that just what happens when slicks run over standing water... it's not Russel's fault the closing speeds are dangerously high

  • A Williams trying to overtake a Mercedes. Nothing odd

  • wow, seems like people just shouldn't race when they come up against a Mercedes. He is over taking botas , gets pushed outside, hits wet grass, accident then happened. Mercedes should be more worried about, like what was stated, that Russell shouldn't been in a position to take over botas in the first place. I would look at that Russell was driving great , was over taking and was pushed outside by botas . Wolff acts like because it is Mercedes Russell should have done nothing, its Mercedes , we are gods. REALLY? How political and un race like has the sport become? Give me the old days of F1.

  • Imagine going for a gap that’s there. Guess Wolff doesn’t like people being racing drivers anymore. Honestly, wolff isn’t a driver, his opinion shouldn’t matter. Hopefully Russell doesn’t go to that team now otherwise he wouldn’t be allowed to be a racing driver. Disgrace.

  • Toto is so dumb, This is why F1 is considered a lower tier racing series in the US, If you do not allow the drivers to actually race then why are you even there? Like if that happened to an American driver they would leave F1 to go somewhere they can actually race with actual competition. F1 is more like a glorified parade of open wheel cars

  • Russel is racing for another team, and not for Mercedes...if he needs to prove himself, Russel needs to be successful. There is nothing wrong with Russel but Bottas did squeeze him to the grass.

  • Can you fecking learn how to pronounce Toto surname correctly such if big ignorance!!!

  • Haha and it happened at the corner senna passing in 1994. He must have been awaken from his grave after that loud bang.

  • We all want to watch f1 RACE not some politics about some shine mercedes being crashed in the real race.That is the point of the sport!

  • Wolff’s statements demonstrate a lack of integrity. Russell is paid by Williams to perform for Williams. Imagine if this were manufacturing or finance. Russell should see this as a red flag.

  • I'd call it a racing incident and Russell made a mistake loosing control of his car but.... If Mercedes want any driver they've dangled a carrot for to play gentle with them they're making a bigger mistake. It's called racing not politics.

    • Bottas end up so far back that Russell had the chance to overtake. Don't tell a racer not to race, that's not right.

  • the move from russel was riski but bottas defending was also dangouruse so i would say russel made a riski overtake and bottas made a riski defending. if there where no rain bottas could have defendet like this but in rain it was to dangouruse

  • Bottas has become a mobile chicane. Never had an accident but seen loads.

  • What’s the point of Staying in F1 if no one is willing to give you a chance, some had to find success in other series

  • He saw a chance, he took it, it went wrong, it happens...if he had stuck it, people would be going mad about what a great move it was. If wolf does decide against russel because if this, then he is a fool

  • This is like my future boss declining my request for annual leave in my current job

  • Russell wanted Bottas to be gentle on him, when Bottas fought back, Russell lost it, end of story.

  • I love Toto, but he is a real Tot in the case. This is why f1 is feeling useless to watch.... if the stewarts dont determine the winner, then the team bosses do. We want to see racing you tots

  • Whatever, Bottas is shit compared to Russel and thats it

    • It is clearly Russel fault. Because he the one hit bottas

  • Just imagine: Russell's tweet about driver who defend should think about conditions, so he literally took all the responsibility on Bottas. Men, u r overtaking, its yours concerns about lines and conditions! Everyone here are for George, cuz he was almost overtake a mercedes, what a yoke!

  • Personally. I think Bottas couldn’t stand see a Williams overtake him. It was all for the 2022 seat ladies and gents.

  • A bit arrogant for Wolf to expect his cars to be treated differently by a die hard racer 👎🏿

  • F1 has become such rubbish that last few months I have been watching season reviews from 80s and 90s, far more entertaining than F1 now days.

  • Mercedes are freaking bullies and manipulative

  • Holy shit I just realised how far off they spun from the moment they came together, that's a long way

  • I think rather than Toto focusing on Russell, and saying "You should race Mercedes differently and shouldn't go for moves like that" he should instead focus on how on earth did Bottas end up so far back that Russell had the chance to overtake. Don't tell a racer not to race, that's not right.

  • The big question is... How did a Williams even get close to a Mercedes let alone potentially past one

  • It is an accident, you managed to get out first then go to the other car and see if the other driver is all right - btw, u Russell, lost control of your car, NOT Bottas. Toto is happy as he now has added strong reason not to take Russell next season - not an arrogant driver into Mercedes..

    • particularly if he’s still under 25.

  • Yoo so Russell Verstappen Redbull ye?!

  • This is why Hamilton always does so well, I forgot that you're not allowed to pass a Mercedes.

    • and if they do , they sheting.

    • Yup.

    • This is like my future boss declining my request for annual leave in my current job

  • I’m surprised that toto, being the older man, told Russell that he had to race a Mercedes differently. I’m not to sure on what that means but we want to see a race, not a free win.

  • Wolff has a right to be pissed at Russell because he took a risk that resulted the destruction of a Mercedes car, however he should also acknowledge that this makes Russell a ballsy driver that is worthy of a seat racing for Mercedes

  • Bottas has a FU attitude because of his teammate...and clearly the #2.....and no race driver wants to be the #2.......Wolf is being a douche by making those comments. It really makes him seem petty considering that neither were fighting for points and defending that harshly on a fast straight is just pure garbage.

    • @dcoog anml I have no idea what you're trying to say here. Could you elaborate?

    • What kind of bullshit is he should approach the Mercedes differently

  • It is clearly Russel fault. Because he the one hit bottas

  • God that Morrison advert on here is scary that a man is allowed to look like that but call its self a girl!

  • I hate to say it but it was Russell’s fault

  • 2022, new regulations. Wolf punishes Russell because of this and leave Bottas in the team. Russell stays at Williams, that makes the best car, and wins the championship. Wouldn’t it be nice?

  • Holy shit I just realised how far off they spun from the moment they came together, that's a long way

  • Weeeeeeeeh me mercedes weeeh weeh baby me mercedes boss weeeh

  • Bottas giving the title to Hamilton every year and surely he deserves 1 or even 2 championships while Russell is at Williams right now... I understand the anger from both drivers but Russell must respect or watch the replay before walking close to bottas and talk like that, after all it was his fault bottas did nothing wrong. And for the smart guys nobody sayed that russell wasn't allowed to pass bottas o Mercedes, but he was selfish and tried to pass him the wrong time.

  • Let’s be honest, Bottas could have moved over for Russell but he didn’t, because he didn’t want to be over taken by a Williams car, and by the driver who could potentially replace him next year, so Bottas gave Russel no room, concluding in them both out of the race, Bottas knew exactly what he was doing but couldn’t handle the truth. And at the end of the day, should you really be driving for Mercedes if your competing with a Williams car?

    • have a seat in Mercedes next year”. Pretty sure there are many teams who would take on Russell.

  • He should have handled it differently because it was a Mercedes? Who the fuck are you? You think you are special?

    • management for attempted race fixing.

  • I reckon that feller who tried to overtake on the shoulder will be gettin’ a ticket from the authorities and a hefty fine in traffic court. His insurance is probably going up after this, particularly if he’s still under 25.

    • As a non follower of F1 I thought the whole point of racing was to try and finish first, and that means overtaking all the other racers. I dunno, maybe I’m being a bit thick here.

  • Just an idea, but maybe Bottas should have stayed on his line with faster cars pulling up behind him while he’s trying to warm up the tires that weren’t working right for him all weekend anyways? I’m sure Russel would have let Bottas by later once speeds matched expectations.

  • Sooooo... what I hear from this: Russell isn’t allowed to pass a merc if he wishes to race one in the future. “If he’s good he will drive a merc”but he’s not allowed to prove he is a good driver?

  • bottas flinched. that's a fact. russel has to know that he can't go on the grass.. either there is a gap or there isn't.

  • “If you no longer go for a gap which exists you are no longer a racing driver” - Ayrton Senna

  • What kind of bullshit is he should approach the Mercedes differently

  • So basically Wolff is telling a racing driver no to race.....right,

  • I think that vallteri should have been a bit more carefull arond russel becuase he is a semi rookie

    • gain of his own had it come off clean, he pushed the rookie beyond limits, when he is expected to be more knowledgeable and more skilled and fully understand what he's

  • Goes to show the condition of racing nowadays, would not be this big of a deal 20 years ago when it was not entirely about money and power. what's the point of racing if you have to make special conditions for certain cars, then get essentially bullied by an opposing team when you are competing to be the best out there.

  • Russell will end up with the seat and Bottas will go to somewhere like Renault

  • I don't see what's Toto mad about. The red flag is the reason Hamilton arrived in second place...

  • it was a racing incident, Wolf obviously isn't happy due to the financial implication, as well as possible points loss and is inserting his authority as a Team principal and leader in the sport. I personally don't see that either driver did anything wrong per se and to have a team principal state that a young driver should have a global view and race differently against his vehicles is a massive issue for the sport. With that statement Wolf is coming across spoilt and overly controlling, I mean for ten years Mercedes have been spending over 300 million a year to race and suddenly in it's an issue to rebuild a car, sound more like it's my ball, you're not playing...

  • Congratulations on such an amazing achievement, can't wait to see your channel grow even bigger.👍

  • I don’t agree with the comments about approaching a Mercedes car differently. He’s driving for Williams. You can’t use the whole “you need to treat us differently or you won’t have a seat in Mercedes next year”. Pretty sure there are many teams who would take on Russell.

  • i just love how cocky mercedes team is. i guess it comes with the trophy

  • As a non follower of F1 I thought the whole point of racing was to try and finish first, and that means overtaking all the other racers. I dunno, maybe I’m being a bit thick here.

  • Is it a race or a procession? Part of the Mercedes Young Driver Program or not. They put him in a Williams car, they should let him race. Toto should be up in front of the F1 management for attempted race fixing.

  • The politics are such a turn off.

  • That is the main overtaking place on this track and many overtakes were completed there during the race. Knowing Russell was in a position to challenge him, Bottas would have been watching the attack develop behind him and seen Russell coming at an enormous closing speed. Yet he still elected to move late, albeit only slightly, to the right. What would Toto expect Russell to do when already committed at that closing speed - evaporate? Russell had no choice but move right to avoid Bottas' drift and swerving at 200mph was always likely to result in him touching the grass. The accident was the direct result of Russell's loss of control from wet grass - he didn't just "drive" into Bottas. Would Toto really want Russell in a Mercedes if he was not prepared to race hard against all other cars? Would he have expected Lewis not to challenge Bottas in those circumstances and what do you think would be Lewis' response if he did? Each driver may set their defence and then they have to stick with it; sitting in the middle of the road to defend is legitimate but if you move from there you must give the challenger space. Bottas at fault in my book (and I have always respected him).

  • George Russell is a pompous little git. I cannot stand him I hope he doesn’t become a world champion in F1. Something about him really doesn’t sit right with me. Lando Norris all the way 🇬🇧

  • 1) Your graphic does not show that Bottas made any small movement, but from the videos it looks like he did. 2) Bottas would see that he is getting passed and made a conscious choice to keep his fading line and squeeze Russell to the right. 3) Russell had a little more room, but likely jerked right due to the Bottas movement. I believe that it is a racing incident, but I believe at least half the fault goes to Bottas. I agree with others, in the thread, that Wolff is overreaching his Mercedes influence over Russell, unless he made similar comments to Bottas, which there is no evidence he had. I expect Wolff is influenced by his disappointment of Bottas and his cars performance and projecting it on Russell. It's interesting it was directed to the driver and not the team. Is this his mentorship style?