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Valtteri Bottas – no more just Lewis Hamilton's wingman

Jolyon Palmer

Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer, who left Renault during the 2017 season, is part of the BBC team and offers insight and analysis from the point of view of the competitors

What a difference a year makes.

In 2018, Valtteri Bottas left Melbourne after the opening race of the season on the back foot.

He had a big crash in qualifying, started well down the grid, and just about managed to salvage a few points with eighth place. His team-mate Lewis Hamilton took pole by more than half a second and only lost the win due to a Mercedes strategy error.

Fast forward 12 months, and Bottas has sent a convincing message of intent for the remaining 20 grands prix with a resounding victory.

And he finished the race with a defiant message to those who criticised his lacklustre performances in the second half of last year.

“To whom it may concern,” he said over the radio on the slowing down lap. “F*** you.”

It was wild and cutting in equal measure from the usually calm Finn, and it will resonate for much longer than the week and a half before the next race in Bahrain.

What went wrong in 2018

This article is from the BBC Sport website / bbc.co.uk - Valtteri Bottas - no more just Lewis Hamilton's wingman

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