Bottas Set for Grid Penalty as Mercedes Fit New Power Unit for Abu Dhabi

by Paul Hensby

Valtteri Bottas looks set to start the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the back of the grid this weekend after his Mercedes AMG Motorsport team were unable to salvage his power unit that failed during the Brazilian Grand Prix last time out.

High oil consumption saw the Finn’s engine to fail at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, making him the races first retirement, and despite the power unit being sent back to Mercedes’ engine base in Brixworth, it was found to be too badly damaged to be considered to be used again.

As a result, Bottas will take a fresh power unit for the race weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit, and as it is an engine outside of his allocation for the season, he will take grid penalties that will see him begin the race from the back of the grid.

Bottas has already clinched second place in the Drivers’ Championship in 2019, winning four times along the way in Australia, Azerbaijan, Japan and the United States, but he will be hard pressed to make it five in Abu Dhabi, a race he won back in 2017 during his first season with Mercedes.

Team Principal Toto Wolff is back with Mercedes this weekend and has already stated that Mercedes need to use the race in Abu Dhabi to put right what went wrong in Brazil, where Bottas retired and Lewis Hamilton was classified seventh after a troubled race.  However, the penalty has made the weekend a lot more difficult for Bottas!

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