Ever since he won the first race of the season in Austria, Valtteri Bottas wasn’t able to repeat the feat until today. This led to a lot of people questioning the Finn’s ability to truly challenge Lewis Hamilton in the championship. After winning the Russian Grand Prix, Bottas sent a radio message to his critics: “A nice moment to thank my critics. To whom it may concern, f**k you.”
“I knew the start was going to be the first opportunity, but it was quite compromised because there was a massive bee or something that hit my visor,” Bottas said in the post-race interview with Johnny Herbert.
“I couldn’t see when to brake, but I knew it was going to be a long race. I knew I would have opportunities after that and then Lewis had the penalty.
“Once I was in clean air, I felt the pace was pretty awesome and I could really control everything.
“I wasn’t very concerned. I knew there were tons of opportunities with our package here today. It’s been a while since I’ve won, that’s good. I want to try to keep the momentum.
“I keep pushing and we’ll see how it will turn out,” concluded the Finn.
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His team-mate Lewis Hamilton wasn’t too happy with two five-second penalties he received for a pre-race infringement during the practice start.
“First of all, I want to thank all the fans who came this weekend,” said the Briton after the race.
“It wasn’t my best day, but it is what it is. It doesn’t matter to me what happened before the race. It happened.
“I didn’t do much during the race, I just held my position. Congratulations to Valtteri for his victory, of course.”
Along with the two five-second penalties, Hamilton also received two penalty points on his super license. This brings his 12-month total to 10 penalty points. If a driver receives 12 penalty points in a 12-month period, he receives a race ban.