Valtteri Bottas was the biggest beneficiary following Lewis Hamilton’s 10 second time penalty. The Finn won his second race of the season, 9 races after his win at the season opener in Austria.
Crossing the chequered flag in P1, Bottas replied to the haters with a spunky remark. However, former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer believes Bottas overreacted and hasn’t really silenced his critics just yet.
Palmer said, “Look, the critics won’t be silenced by this race. Let’s not forget, he qualified 6 and a half tenths away from Hamilton yesterday, across two sets of tires in Q3. That’s not silencing anyone.
“He got out-qualified by Max Verstappen. He won today, did a good start, he measured the pace. But he didn’t have to do anything after the start. He beat Verstappen in an inferior Red Bull, that’s fine.
“But he didn’t have the fight from Hamilton. So, I kind of think anything less than what Bottas did would have been a disappointing race.
“It is Bottas that says this is a championship fight and so often we see that he is not in the fight, quite as much as you’d hope he would be, if he wanted to take the fight to Hamilton. Like Nico Rosberg used to do.”
ALSO READ- WATCH : Valtteri Bottas Silences Haters on the Radio After a Thumping Win
Palmer feels Valtteri Bottas overreacted on the radio
The Finn’s radio message sounded like a throwback to Australia, where he rose from the ashes of a poor 2018 season. People branded him Bottas 2.0 and Palmer loved his retort then. But felt it was unnecessary now.
Palmer said, “I liked when he said it before in Australia. I was a bit of a critic but then who wasn’t, at the end of his 2018 season. He turned up in Australia last year, he won the race and sent that message and I thought, brilliant.
“But this year, he’s not shown the fight on the track. Today, he did ‘accidentally’ showed the fight in turn 2. But the radio message seems a bit over the top.”
Bottas will need to show that he is up for a fight more often than not. The Finn has got to be putting his Mercedes on the top step of the podium a lot more than he is doing currently.
Luckily for Bottas, he has already been confirmed for 2021. So he has the team’s backing, but if he isn’t able to challenge Hamilton for wins on a regular basis, he could be dropped in favor of a younger driver like George Russell.
The win in Sochi would certainly be a confidence booster, But Bottas definitely needs to build on that in Germany, on the 11th of October.