F1's Imola race red-flagged after huge Bottas/Russell crash - The Race
Formula 1

F1’s Imola race red-flagged after huge Bottas/Russell crash

Apr 18 2021

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola has been red-flagged just after half-distance after a massive crash between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell.

Max Verstappen leads the race, which began in wet conditions, while Lewis Hamilton is down in ninth, having gone off the road just before his Mercedes team-mate Bottas and Russell’s shunt.

Bottas and Russell had been battling at the foot of the top 10 when they made high-speed contact on the kink near the end of the start/finish straight.

Russell had got a great run on Bottas but tried a move round the outside and lost control after Bottas briefly twitched to the right.

The Williams speared into the side of Bottas’s car, this contact sending both heavily into the wall.

The pair got out of their cars seemingly uninjured, although Russell approached Bottas while he was still in the cockpit, having expressed fury about Bottas’s driving over the radio.

“What the fuck was he doing?! Honestly! Is he a fucking prick or what?!” Russell shouted to his team.

Likewise, Bottas was deeply unimpressed by Russell’s move, calling him a “fucking c***” on the radio, and the pair remonstrated once Russell approached his car.

The incident marked F1’s first red flag stoppage since Romain Grosjean’s fiery shunt in Bahrain last year.

One lap earlier, Hamilton had slid into the Tosa barrier while lapping Russell and lost huge time reversing out of the gravel and then getting back to the pits for repairs.

At the time, Hamilton had been trying to close down the lead Verstappen had established during the switch from intermediate tyres to slicks.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Race Day Imola, Italy

Verstappen took the lead at the start with a rapid getaway from third, while Hamilton bounced over the Tamburello kerbs as he tried to stay wheel to wheel with the Red Bull around the outside.

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari and Lando Norris’s McLaren will be second and third at the restart, with front row starter Sergio Perez back in fourth after a penalty for overtaking under an early safety car.

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