FORMER Formula One driver Jolyon Palmer has claimed that Valtteri Bottas led Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to win a record eighth world championship.
British Symbols Hamilton was conceded by Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi on Sunday when the Dutch won his first world title.
Hamilton won the championship seven times, who received his knighthood at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, winning, of course, as he led Verstappen by more than ten seconds.
But Williams ‘Nicholas Latifi crashes into fence’ resulted in a safety car being deployed in lap 54, allowing Verstappen to hone his opponents.
And with the newer tires punctured, Verstappen overtook his opponent on the final lap after the managers decided to allow the cars to overturn.
FIA director Michael Masi had initially indicated that the cars flipped between Hamilton and Verstappen would stay in their lineup, only to change their mind, leading the former to claim that race ‘has been manipulated’.
But despite the controversial ending, Palmer blamed Bottas, who raced for Mercedes one last time before joining Alfa Romeo.
He said that Bottas, who finished sixth in Abu Dhabi, didn’t help Hamilton like VerstappenWinger Sergio Perez made it.
Perez played a key role in holding Hamilton earlier in the race before getting the safety car.
Speaking on BBC’s Checkered Flag podcaster, Palmer, who raced for Renault from 2016-2017, said: “Bottas had a shock.
“Now, does that cost Hamilton the title? If Bottas were in Verstappen’s sights, then Verstappen wouldn’t have had a full ‘free’ stop.
“A great driver for the team for so many years, the last race he went missing and that meant Verstappen got a ‘free’ stop at the Virtual Safety Car, a ‘free’ stop at Safe car.
“If you have another Mercedes there within 23 seconds of him, in a faster car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel, he can’t do it and Hamilton is the champ.
“Bottas has been very solid but when it comes down to it, he can’t help his teammates, and Perez has done all he can, and he’s competing to do it.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17050420/f1-valtteri-bottas-lewis-hamilton-jolyon-palmer/ Jolyon Palmer claims: ‘He’s missing’ – Valtteri Bottas wins Lewis Hamilton F1 title with ‘shocker’ in Abu Dhabi