George Russell and Valtteri Bottas were involved in an ugly clash during the Imola Grand Prix 2021, but looking back at the incident, the Briton is "glad" it happened.
According to the 24-year-old, moments like these help a driver grow and mature and he believes that making these mistakes is important for character development.
Talking on the High Performance Podcast, Russell said:
"But I feel I'm almost glad for that crash, because I feel better for it. I feel a more rounded person, I see things maybe slightly differently. These moments in life, I guess, mature you, there's no perfect moments and you need mistakes."
During the 32nd lap of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in 2021, George Russell and Valtteri Bottas crashed while Russell was trying to overtake Bottas in his Williams. The attempted overtake went wrong as he got onto the grass, lost control of the car and hit Bottas at extremely high speed, taking both cars out. Both drivers blamed each other in the immediate aftermath of the horrific incident.
But Russell now feels that his reaction was overblown, and having reflected on the incident, he believes it was a "learning moment" for him.
"I was furious with Valtteri, which was probably not the right thing to do. That was also a really good learning [moment] for me; you need to take a moment to think about it before [making] snap judgments."
George Russell revealed Wolff was upset because of the damage
While talking about the incident, George Russell disclosed that he was on a flight with Toto Wolff (the team principal of Mercedes) the same evening, who was obviously not happy about the crash and the damage.
His anger was intensified because it was the first year that the FIA had applied the cost cap on all teams, which had already limited the development of top teams.
"He was very upset with the situation and also pretty angry because that was the very first year of this new financial cost cap that have been implemented."
The incident cost Mercedes over a million dollars, which is a lot, considering the $145 million budget cap. The situation was tense for Russell and Mercedes, however; he stated that it helped him build a closer relationship with Bottas' engineers after he moved into the team.
George Russell moved to Mercedes in 2022 and replaced Bottas. His first season with the team has been a dream for many as he was able to defeat Lewis Hamilton in the same car, only the third driver after Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg to do so.