Bottas: No gentleman’s agreement broken in Russell Imola F1 crash

Valtteri Bottas says he did not break any gentleman’s agreement between the Formula 1 drivers in his defence against George Russell prior to their Imola crash.

Bottas: No gentleman’s agreement broken in Russell Imola F1 crash

Bottas and Russell collided while battling for ninth place in Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with the severity of their crash resulting in a red flag.

Both drivers were quick to blame each other for causing the crash that left Bottas’ Mercedes car with a significant amount of damage that could limit the team’s upgrade plans for the rest of the year.

Russell claimed in the immediate aftermath of the incident that Bottas had broken a gentleman’s agreement between the drivers.

“Between all of the drivers, we’ve had this gentleman’s agreement that when there’s a faster car approaching with the DRS, you don’t jolt the steering wheel at the very last moment,” Russell said, comparing the move to Max Verstappen’s actions under braking in 2015 that prompted a rule rewrite.

“It’s the smallest of moves, but when you’re going at 220 mph, and you’re going 30 mph quicker than the car ahead, it’s massive.”

Marshals clear the damaged car of Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, from the gravel trap

Marshals clear the damaged car of Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, from the gravel trap

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Russell has since apologised to Bottas for his reaction to the incident, taking responsibility for the collision that left Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff saying the young Briton had “lots to learn”.

Asked by Autosport if he had broken any gentleman’s agreement, Bottas replied: “No, I don’t see it that way at all.

“I didn’t make any sudden moves. I think it’s quite clear from his onboard as well, I always left a space.

“No, from my side, it was clean. And of course I’m defending, I’m not going to make any room for him. But also when I race, I have respect. So I see it differently than him."

Read Also:

The stewards investigating the incident confirmed that Bottas did not change his line at all on the approach to Turn 2, deeming the collision to be a racing incident.

Bottas said that he could have been “a lot more aggressive” when defending the position, and that Russell should have been aware that the outside line would have been damp still.

“He knew that it was going to be damp there, because we have gone there lap after lap,” Bottas said.

“I knew as well, and it was just not a place to go in those conditions on slicks. But he still went there.

“It was his choice to go there, I was doing my job trying to defend, and I’m not going to move away and give him the dry patch back. That’s how it goes.”

shares
comments
Verstappen surprised how good wet start was at Imola

Previous article

Verstappen surprised how good wet start was at Imola

Next article

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Valtteri Bottas
Author Luke Smith
Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021