Max Verstappen has trolled Valtteri Bottas for his numerous engine changes this season.
Several drivers went to the back of the grid at the Russian GP. Verstappen started the race in last position, having taken a new engine. However, he must have been surprised to see Bottas in front of him.
Bottas took an engine change upon Mercedes’ orders to hold up Verstappen at the back.
Mercedes insisted the engine switch for Bottas was a tactical move, and they stated that there was something wrong with Bottas’ engine. This came as a massive surprise, given Bottas had just taken an engine penalty at the Italian GP.
Nevertheless, Verstappen overcame the roadblock in front of him, and overtook Bottas early on in the race. If the intention was to pin Verstappen at the back, it didn’t work at all.
It took the Red Bull driver little time to execute the race-defining overtake. The rain arrived in the dying moments to help him finish P2, making it a bittersweet weekend for Mercedes.
The Dutchman couldn’t resist having a go at Bottas during the race weekend. As spotted on video, Verstappen was walking through the paddock with Bottas and his teammate Sergio Perez. Verstappen trolled Bottas for his numerous engine changes this season, after hearing the news of Bottas’ second penalty in a row.
“Are you going for the record of this season?” Verstappen mockingly asked the Mercedes driver.
Verstappen charged up the grid, but could only take seventh place. However, the arrival of rain indicated that his fortunes would change. With the track getting wet Verstappen pitted relatively early for intermediates, and that ensured his charge towards an amazing second place.
Mercedes took victory when Lewis Hamilton won in dominant fashion, crossing the line almost a minute before Verstappen did. However, their objective was to have a much bigger points gap between Hamilton and Verstappen after the race.
That opportunity slipped out of their hands, and the momentum is with Red Bull as we head to Turkey next.