There has long been speculation among Formula One fans that Valtteri Bottas would not receive equal treatment with his teammate Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes F1 team.

Now Alexei Popov, an F1 expert at Russian Match TV, has said out loud what many people think in the depot.

Popov’s critical comments are primarily directed at Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff.

Popov's comments were written by the website grandprix.com.

- This is starting to get really ridiculous.

After the Baku race, Bottas hinted that he needed a new chassis for his car.

Wolff replied that Hamilton just is so much faster because he believes in the car more.

After Monaco, Wolff said the Bottas car could not be removed from the tire because he was not driving to the right place in the depot.

It later emerged that Bottas had driven in better than almost anyone ever had, Popov wondered.

The relationship between Valtteri Bottas and Toto Wolff is apparently no longer as warm as it was in January 2017, when Bottas signed a contract with Mercedes.

Photo: Daimler AG

According to Popov, the stable boss takes a completely opposite view of what Hamilton and Bottas do.

- If Hamilton makes a mistake, Wolff explains that it wasn't a mistake, or that the mistake was someone else's.

But if something goes wrong with Bottas, that's always Wolff's reason for that.

If Bottas succeeds, it’s thanks to the team, Popov cannons.

- Everyone has started laughing at this.

Or not Bottas, of course, because he feels left out of the team, Popov knows.

Popov thinks all this shows that Bottas' position on Mercedes is becoming more and more threatening.

The second driver’s seat for next season has already been arranged for George Russell.