George Russell and Valtteri Bottas crash: Stewards deliver verdict and rule neither driver was at fault
Imola stewards explain what happened in the acrimonious crash and why neither Valtteri Bottas nor George Russell was at fault for causing the accident which dramatically put both cars out of the race
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 18/04/21 10:36pm
Valtteri Bottas and George Russell's high-speed collision has been ruled as a 'racing incident' by stewards at the Emilia Romagna GP, with neither driver found at fault.
The drivers blamed each other for causing the lap-32 crash at the Tamburello corner which put them both out of the race as they fought over ninth place.
Williams' Russell said the Mercedes driver had driven "dangerously" by making a slight move to the right as he attempted to overtake on the outside, while Bottas suggested the accident was "completely" the Englishman's fault.
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But the stewards saw it neither of those ways and took no further action on Sunday night, ruling that "at no time did either car manoeuvre erratically"
Thanks for all the messages. I'm fine, just disappointed. At the end of the day, it's an unfortunate incident. You're entitled to defend your position. But at 330kph, you have to respect the speed and the conditions when doing so. Gutted for the team. They deserved more today.— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) April 18, 2021
So what did the stewards say?
Car 63 [Russell] approached car 77 [Bottas] to pass after the front straight a few laps after the restart when DRS had recently been enabled.
Car 77 maintained his line throughout the incident along the right hand side of the dry line, leaving at least a full car's width to the right at all times.
Car 63 approached with a significant speed advantage. He moved to pass on the right. As the cars approached the kink of turn 1, the gap between them and the righthand side of the track decreased. At no time did either car manoeuvre erratically.
The track appeared to be not especially wet through turn 1 but at the point of closest approach to the right hand side of the track, the right hand side tyres of Car 63 hit an especially damp patch and the car snap yawed, bearing in mind that the car had low downforce in the rear with the DRS open.
The Stewards conclude that the accident was a racing incident considering the conditions and take no further action.