George Russell swore at Valtteri Bottas and accused the Mercedes driver of trying to kill him following their high-speed crash in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Russell was attempting to pass Bottas around the outside of the Finn's Mercedes on the 290 km/h run to the opening corner in Imola on lap 32.

But the British driver dipped his front-right tyre onto the damp grass, causing him to lose control of his machine and spear into the side of Bottas’ Mercedes.

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

A furious Russell, 23, yelled over the radio: "What the f*** was he doing? Honestly. Is he a f****** p***k or what?"

Russell, a member of the Mercedes junior academy and hopeful of a promotion from Williams to replace Bottas as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate next year, left the cockpit of his damaged machine before racing over to confront the Finn.

Russell leaned into the Mercedes and slapped Bottas’ crash helmet. Bottas raised his middle finger in response.

In the moments after the dramatic coming together, Bottas said on the radio: "What a f****** c***."

The race was suspended for 30 minutes to clean up the streams of debris from the accident.

"I asked him if he was trying to kill us both," said Russell.

"We’re going incredibly fast and we know the conditions. In his eyes he’s not really fighting for anything. Ninth for him is nothing, but for us it is everything. I’m going for absolutely everything.

"I have never had a crash at the end of the straight when we are absolutely flat out.

"We have all seen the dangers of motorsport, and to be honest, I would have reacted the same if I was battling for the win, for ninth or for last because I felt it was unnecessary and avoidable.

"Your heart stops when you crash at over 200mph. You don’t know what is going to happen.

"My anger at the time is that I thought he had put us both in harm’s way and it was an incredibly scary incident, but fortunately we both walked away without any battle scars. However, it could have been very different."

Both drivers were hauled in front of the stewards but the accident was deemed a racing incident.

Russell is in the frame to replace Bottas at Mercedes next season, and the Englishman added: "Perhaps if it was another driver he wouldn’t have done that."

Later, the Briton said: "There is no tension between Valtteri and I but you can take that comment as you wish. It was pretty clear how it was intended. Maybe I am wrong, maybe he is fighting for every position.

"Valtteri and I will clear the air. I don’t intend to hold any grudges or have a bad relationship with any driver on the grid. He did nothing outside the rules but you have to take an element of responsibility and consideration of the conditions.

"When it is a damp track and there is a kink in the road and you are pushing someone onto the grass at over 200mph there is a high risk of an incident and that is why I was disappointed because I thought that was beyond a lack of respect."

Lewis Hamilton finished second

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton said he is only human after his spin allowed championship rival Max Verstappen to gallop to victory.

Verstappen roared past pole-sitter Hamilton on the race down to the opening corner following a brilliant getaway at a rain-hit Imola and then held his nerve as the chaos unfolded behind him.

After switching to dry rubber, Hamilton was in hot pursuit of Verstappen but on lap 31 of 63, the world champion made an uncharacteristic mistake. Lapping Russell, he slid off the track and into the gravel at the left-handed Tosa corner.

The seven-time world champion managed to reverse out of the sand trap and stop for repairs, fighting back from ninth to second. Lando Norris finished third for McLaren following the best drive of the Briton's fledgling career.

Hamilton's fight back through the pack was aided when the race was red-flagged after Russell and Bottas' crash.

A 30-minute delay ensued before Verstappen cruised off into the distance, with Hamilton passing five drivers in 21 laps in an impressive display of damage limitation.

"It was very tricky out there but we are only human," said Hamilton.

"It is not the mistakes that define you. You know I don't make too many mistakes, and while it was gutting to be in that position I feel these things happen for a reason.

"I didn't think I would finish second when I was facing that barrier. But I remember being there and looking at the barrier and I refused to believe the race was over.

"I could have turned the car off and got out but I was grateful I didn't. After that, it was trying to switch the anger and turn it into positive energy and race forwards. That is an amazing blessing to be sent."

In the closing stages Hamilton, who fought his way past Norris with just three laps remaining, recorded the fastest lap meaning he will head to the third round in Portugal with a single-point advantage over Verstappen.

He added: "Finishing second will be very valuable in the championship. If I had lost 25 points to Max today it would have been hard to recover based on the fact Red Bull have an incredibly fast car.

"They were faster than us this weekend. We have got a close battle, which we love. There are going to be a lot of exciting races up ahead."

Verstappen should have won in Bahrain three weeks ago, but for an illegal move on Hamilton, while a mistake on his final lap in qualifying on Saturday cost him pole.

But the Dutchman, 23, delivered a largely faultless display in the inclement conditions to take his 11th career win and first of a season which has started with two classic races.

Following a deluge of rain an hour before the start, the drivers began on wet rubber and it was Verstappen, third on the grid, who executed a perfect getaway.

Racing past Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, he then moved to the inside of Hamilton at the opening corner with the latter forced to run over the exit kerbs.

Hamilton claimed Verstappen did not leave him enough room but the stewards looked at the incident and decided an investigation was not necessary.

The championship is now perfectly poised, with Hamilton and Verstappen's rivalry set to live up to its pre-season billing.

"Today was very good but it is a very long season so we have to keep working hard," said Verstappen.

"I am happy with the result today but tomorrow we start again and we have to keep on improving. Lewis and Mercedes have been so dominant and difficult to beat. To be competitive after two races is promising but there are no guarantees."