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Mika Hakkinen

Hakkinen: Russell was never going to be able to go outside Bottas

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was halted under red flags after George Russell and Valtteri Bottas collided as the Williams driver attempted to overtake down the straight. Former F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has said the move was never on even if the younger driver had the run on the Mercedes.

Article
To news overview © Williams

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix left fans with plenty to talk about amid a number of incidents in a rain-soaked race, and probably none more so than George Russell and Valtteri Bottas’ crash which took the pair out of the race and brought out the red flags.

The two have since traded the blame for the incident, with Russell backing down from his initial position that Bottas had swerved to the right to head off a move by the Williams driver and saying that the Finn was entitled to defend his position, even if the conditions and speed at which they were travelling had to be taken into account.

Former Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has said that while Russell clearly had the run on the Mercedes coming down the straight and could be expected to go for the overtake, he was ultimately always going to struggle on the wet side of the track, he said on Unibet.

"You cannot race side-by-side on a wet-dry track, because the car on the wet side is going to have far less grip, as Russell discovered," Hakkinen said.

"It was clear that the Williams got a really good run at Valtteri’s Mercedes, and you cannot blame a young driver for going for it, but he was never going to be able to go around the outside. Also Valtteri was never going to give up the dry, racing line.

"It was a really unfortunate accident caused by split-second decisions. But it is a reminder that, when you make the wrong call, the consequences can be disastrous."

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