George Russell insists Valtteri Bottas purposefully targeted him in 200mph crash

British driver George Russell appeared to slap Valtteri Bottas on the helmet after their high-speed crash at Sunday's Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Russell was attempting to pass Bottas around the outside of the Finn's Mercedes on the 200mph run down to the opening corner in Imola.

But the Williams driver dipped his front-right tyre on to the damp grass, causing him to lose control of his Williams and crash into Bottas.

Both drivers ended up in the wall with significant damage sustained to their respective cars.

Russell said over the radio: "What the f*** was he doing? Honestly. Is he a f**** p**** or what?"

Russell, a member of the Mercedes junior academy and hopeful of a promotion from Williams to the world champions, left the cockpit of his damaged machine, before heading over to confront Bottas.

Russell leaned into Bottas's car and hit the Finn on his helmet with Bottas gesticulating back at the Williams driver.

The race was stopped on lap 34 of 63 to clean up the debris from the crash.

The flashpoint took place just moments after Lewis Hamilton slipped from second to ninth after running off the road at turn 7 and damaging his front wing.

The world champion stopped for repairs but emerged from the pits way down the order with Max Verstappen leading.

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  • Speaking after the race, Russell said: “P9 is nothing for [Bottas], so you question why he would defend like this for P9. Maybe if it was another driver, it would have been different.”

    When asked what he said to Bottas after their crash, the 23-year-old said: "I asked him if he was trying to kill us both."

    Verstappen came out on top in the race, finishing ahead of British duo Hamilton and Lando Norris in second and third place.

    Charles Leclerc was in fourth, while Carlos Sainz Jr came in fifth.

    READ MORE:F1 race red-flagged after George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' dramatic crash at Imola

    READ MORE:F1 fans slam "dangerous" Nikita Mazepin after Nicholas Latifi crash at Imola GP

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