Lewis Hamilton offers words of encouragement to George Russell after Emilia Romagna GP apology

Lewis Hamilton (right) praised George Russell for owning up to his crash at the weekend

Lewis Hamilton has offered some words of wisdom to fellow Formula 1 driver George Russell after his turbulent Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the weekend.

Russell was involved in a collision with Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, which saw both drivers crash out of the Italian race.

After the incident, the 23-year-old angrily labelled Bottas a “f*****g p***k” on his team radio before leaping out of the car and smacking the Finn’s helmet in disgust.

But he subsequently apologised on Monday for the way he had behaved.

He said: “Yesterday wasn’t my proudest day. I knew it would be one of our best opportunities to score points this season and, when those points matter as much as they do to us right now, sometimes you take risks.

“It didn’t pay off and I have to take responsibility for that. Having had time to reflect on what happened afterwards, I know I should have handled the whole situation better. Emotions can run high in the heat of the moment and yesterday mine got the better of me.

“I apologise to Valtteri, to my team and to anyone who felt let down by my actions. That’s not who I am and I expect more from myself, as I know others expect more from me. I’ve learned some tough lessons this weekend and will come out of this a better driver and a better person for the experience.

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“Now it’s full focus on Portugal and a chance to show what I’m really about. Thanks for all the messages, both positive and negative. They will all help me to grow.”

Now Hamilton has weighed in on Russell’s conduct by offering some positive words to the Mercedes academy driver.

“Strength comes from vulnerability,” he wrote as a comment on Russell’s Instagram post.

“If you don’t make the mistake you can never learn the lesson. Respect for taking responsibility. On to the next one.”

Williams’ Russell stood in for Hamilton as a Mercedes driver for the Sakhir GP last season after the now seven-time world champion was struck down with coronavirus.

The young star led for much of the race before a pit-stop mix-up and slow puncture led to him having to settle for ninth place.

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