Toto Wolff opens up on what he’s been telling George Russell after Valtteri Bottas crash

F1: George Russell hikes during the off-season

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Toto Wolff will have been left with a headache after two of his drivers collided during the Emilia Romagna GP, stating “It takes two to tango” as Max Verstappen grabbed victory in Italy.

There seemed to be quite a heated exchange between the Williams and Mercedes drivers as the two tangled on track and hit the barriers which subsequently ended both their races and brought out the red flag.

Russell was first out of the car and stormed over to the Finn, gesturing furiously at the still sitting down driver.

They seemed to exchanged few words, however Russell later explained that he asked Bottas if he “was trying to kill them both”, before storming off – with Bottas sticking his middle finger up at the Brit, claiming he hadn’t heard what he said.

Both drivers blamed the other, however the stewards deemed it a racing incident after an initial investigation, with neither driver more at fault.

George Russell explains Valtteri Bottas collision

However the boss, who said at the time he hadn’t yet spoken to the 23-year-old, had a very tongue in cheek warning he could yet demote him to a lower category series.

Wolff said on Sky F1: “It was a bad shunt, there wasn’t a lot of friendly exchanges between the two, I guess.

“But we need to look at it again because it takes two to tango. Maybe it’s a 60-40 but I wouldn’t know in which direction.

“I haven’t seen George yet – he didn’t come [to see me]. I keep teasing him, I said if he does a good job he can be in a Mercedes, if not we’re doing the Renault Clio Cup and today we’re more close to the Renault Clio Cup.”

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Russell has had a tough start to the campaign, and was on course for his first points ever with Williams.

After his performance in Bahrain sitting in for a Covid-striken Lewis Hamilton, has been strongly linked with a Mercedes race seat for 2022 – possibly in place of Bottas.

However in the race, moments before the Russell/Bottas incident, Hamilton went tumbling down the order after getting onto the wet part of the track and sliding into the barriers on lap 32.

He eventually got it going again, re-joining P9 and eventually finishing second, but it was a few laps Wolff would rather forget.

“That was not my most happy moment,” said Wolff.

“When we thought the race was completely lost, Lewis’ unbelievable driving just saved all of us today again.

“We are still leading the championship with the fastest lap and what actually gives it a silver lining, or a positive connotation today, is that we seem to have a really quick race car.

“We had that in Bahrain too and today I would say clearly the quickest car and we just need to sort out our qualifying performances.”

Hamilton remains in the lead of the championship by one point to Max Verstappen, thanks to grabbing the fastest lap in the race.

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