‘Can This Man Succeed In Clio Cup Europe?’ Renault Mock Russell After Bottas Crash

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff joked that George Russell could soon find himself racing in the Renault Clio Cup.

George Russell in the pitlane at Imola - Formula1news.co.uk

Renault have poked fun at Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Williams driver George Russell following the Austrian jokingly threatening to demote the young Brit to the Renault Clio Cup after his high-impact shunt with Valtteri Bottas at Imola.

The pair collided on lap 32 of the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and Russell clearly thought Bottas was responsible for the crash, though he later issued an apology to the Finn.

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Speaking after the race, Wolff joked that Russell is now closer to racing in the Renault Clio Cup than driving for Mercedes in Formula 1.

“I keep teasing him, I said if he does a good job he can be in a Mercedes, if not we are doing Renault Clio Cup,” Wolff said.

“And today we are closer to the Renault Clio Cup.”

A day after the race at Imola, Renault Sports’ official Twitter account posted a tweet poking fun at Wolff and Russell.

“Can this man succeed in Clio Cup Europe?” Renault Sport wrote in a tweet with an accompanying picture of Russell.

Some social media users clearly enjoyed the joke:

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After initially blaming Bottas for the collision and asking him if was trying to kill both of them, Russell issued an apology to the Finn on Monday evening.

READ: ‘That Was Just Unfortunate For Him’: Nikita Mazepin On Latifi’s Imola Crash

“Yesterday wasn’t my proudest day,” Russell wrote in a social media post.

“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.

“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,” he concluded.

READ: Marko Says Wolff Should Remember Silver Lining Of Russell-Bottas Crash