Valtteri Bottas. Source:

Damon Hill has slammed Valtteri Bottas’ defence in Russia, saying it was too easy for Max Verstappen to get past him.

Bottas and Verstappen started at the back of the grid, in P16 and P20 respectively. As such, the prediction was that Bottas would hold Verstappen up and prevent him from getting any points.

This would have been a huge advantage for his teammate Lewis Hamilton, who is currently in a title race with Verstappen.

The Russian GP was a golden opportunity to put the pressure on Verstappen. However, Bottas was meek at Sochi, and Verstappen overtook him a few laps into the race. Fans said Bottas did poorly to defend against Verstappen, and did not even try to hold him off.

Hill slammed Valtteri Bottas’ defence in Russia, saying it might have been the easiest overtake Verstappen pulled off this season.

“You can’t get away from the fact that the guy who came second started the race behind him and his teammate won the race,” Hill said, as quoted by Motorsportweek.  

Hill critical of Bottas’ defence: He ‘gifted’ Verstappen position
Hill slammed Bottas (pictured) for his poor show against Verstappen. Source:

“Valtteri, in the race, we were expecting him to put up a little bit of a defence to fight the Mercedes corner against the Red Bull team and Max Verstappen, but he seemed to just wave him through.

“Maybe he just didn’t want any trouble. It doesn’t look like he is racing. It was almost like a gift to Max,” Hill fumed.

Momentum swing

Bottas’ poor performance meant Verstappen got into the points, and ended up finishing P2 due to the rain. This came as bad news for Mercedes, who were counting on a bad result for the Dutchman to put one hand on the championships.

Now the advantage is with their rivals, as the upcoming races favour them. Moreover, Verstappen’s new engine is functional and fully firing, and that will be concerning for Mercedes.

Read more: Hill requests Hamilton and Verstappen to drop bravado and show a bit more self-control


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