Stood on the second podium spot at the Russian Grand Prix, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas cut a forlorn figure.
After all, the race was his for the taking but for team orders forcing him to allow Lewis Hamilton through for the win.
There have been many claiming Mercedes were wrong to bring into play team orders but what the hell do they know?
This is Formula One after all and not some contest for playground bragging rights.
Lewis Hamilton is, without doubt, the superstar of Mercedes and not because the silver arrows made him so, but because he is simply far better than his teammate.
Bottas has the same car as Hamilton and yet here is a man 117 points behind Lewis in the Championship, even dismissing this weekend’s result, the gap was more of a chasm and quite frankly Bottas only has himself to blame for his predicament.
(Bottas during his Williams days before he became slow)
The pair started the season as equals and once again Hamilton has proven the superior driver thus reducing Bottas to number two status.
One can hardly imagine Nico Rosberg just allowing Hamilton to float by but so in tune is Bottas with the Mercedes corporate machine it appears that everyone at the team is quite happy (and even Bottas himself) to plod along even though Hamilton continues to prove the car is capable of so much more than the Finn can get out of it.
Even Ferrari have grown a pair and thrown the highly rated Charles Leclerc into the second seat next season to partner the easily flustered Sebastian Vettel and you can bet your bottom dollar there will be no team orders until one clearly pulls away.
Bottas has the air of a man who knows he can’t beat his teammate over the course of a season so technically this result has done him a favour as he keeps his stock high internally to maintain that coveted Mercedes seat for as long as possible.
As long as Bottas continues to prove he is not a match for Hamilton but has the car to just pick up enough points to keep a modicum of respect throughout the season then why would the Silver Arrows change?
After all, Bottas having to give up first place for the good of the team is all his own fault.
You gotta be quicker Valtteri because the gulf between Hamilton and yourself is huge and only getting bigger, and it is nothing to do with you giving up the win.
(Feature image credit: Associated Press)