VALTTERI BOTTAS has poked fun at his Mercedes team after posting a cheeky message on social media.
The Finn, who will leave the team at the end of the season after Merc failed to offer him a new deal, reposted an image on Instagram that could have upset his bosses.
Bottas used a photoshopped image of himself smiling in front of a pile of scrap metal and the line ‘just a picture of Valtteri with all his engines’.
It comes after the 32-year-old was demoted to the back of the grid for Sunday’s Russian GP for using his FIFTH engine of the year.
F1 rules only permit three engines per driver per season and, should they take more than their stipulated allocation, are immediately punished with grid penalties.
Bottas finished the race in fifth place while team-mate Lewis Hamilton took his 100th victory in F1.
However, has learned that the team will not be taking the matter up with Bottas, although his performance in Russia was heavily criticised.
He spent the majority of the race trundling around in 14th until a late rain shower mixed up the order with quick-thinking Merc strategists calling him in for tyres at the right time.
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But his failure to put up any sort of a fight to prevent Hamilton‘s title rival, Max Verstappen, from going from dead last to second place drew plenty of criticism.
The Dutchman breezed past Bottas unopposed, raising plenty of eyebrows by not trying to stop him.
Damon Hill said: “You can’t get away from the fact that the guy who came second started the race behind him and his team-mate won the race.
“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 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.”
Bottas will be replaced by George Russell next season but Merc will not be rushed in to replacing him early.
Despite the likes of Stoffel Vandoorne and Formula E champion Nyck de Vries being available to them, Merc say they will not change their driver line-up midseason.
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