Valtteri Bottas suffered another crushing blow to his Formula 1 title hopes at the Spanish Grand Prix, as he finished behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton holds a 37-point advantage over Verstappen in the championship standings after the Briton surged to his fourth win from the opening six rounds of the delayed 2020 campaign amid a purple patch of form.

In contrast, Bottas’ season has nosedived after he made the perfect start to the campaign by winning the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix from pole position to open up an early 13-point lead in the standings.

Since then, things have gone south for the Finn, who now finds himself a massive 43 points adrift of Hamilton after haemorrhaging 56 points to his main rival in just five races.

“I’m very disappointed of course, it’s far from ideal,” Bottas conceded after the Spanish Grand Prix. “The points difference is way too big and I can see again the championship drifting away. 

“We will take a couple of days to look at everything and see what went wrong and move on. At this point it’s very disappointing but I will always bounce back.

“In Spa I will be in full mental health giving everything I have but for now, I just want to be somewhere else.”

The upcoming triple-header of events at Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Mugello could prove key in determining the outcome of this year’s world championship crown.

But is it now Verstappen, not Bottas, who is Hamilton’s greatest threat of preventing him from equalling Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven world championships?

Verstappen’s second-place finish behind Hamilton was his fifth consecutive rostrum, highlighting a run of consistency that has been key to thrusting the Dutchman into title contention. 

He once again qualified third behind the dominant Mercedes and has a handy knack of placing himself in prime position to capitalise on any drama that unfolds before him. 

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko remains convinced that Verstappen still has a chance of winning this year’s F1 world championship, saying Verstappen “can still become world champion, that's our goal for the season.”

Do you think Max still has a chance to topple the mighty power of Lewis & Mercedes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to like and subscribe to Crash F1…

 

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