Bottas hit with Russian GP grid penalty after F1 engine change

Valtteri Bottas is taking a grid penalty for the Formula 1 Russian GP after changing some Mercedes power unit elements overnight.

Bottas hit with Russian GP grid penalty after F1 engine change

The team expects that the Finn, who originally qualified seventh, will start from 17th place – which will put him three spots ahead of Lewis Hamilton's title rival Max Verstappen.

The strategic move gives Mercedes the opportunity to potentially compromise Verstappen’s attempt to charge through the field after the Dutchman took a complete set of new Honda power unit elements for FP2 on Friday.

Others with power unit penalties in Sochi are Nicholas Latifi in 18th and Charles Leclerc in 19th.

Bottas also took a new power unit at the last race in Monza, and the second change gives him extra elements with which to reach the end of the season.

Mercedes has suffered some reliability issues in recent weeks, and Bottas has also lost the use of a PU to accident damage.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hinted on Saturday evening that it would try something with Bottas for the Sochi race.

"For Valtteri, we are still thinking about possible strategic decisions to be taken in the next hour or two on what the best and quickest race strategy could be for him," he said when asked by Motorsport.com about Mercedes' strategy options for Sochi.

Read Also:

Before the decision was confirmed, Bottas - known as a Sochi specialist - believed that he still had a shot at victory from seventh on the grid.

"It's big opportunity in the championship,” he said. "It's still a big opportunity for us to get a lot more points than Red Bull. 

"And I really believe we can still fight for the win, because based on the pace we had yesterday in the long runs, if it's dry race especially, we'll be there or thereabouts. So yeah, should be should be an interesting race."

Attention now turns to when Hamilton will have to take a fourth PU and thus face grid penalties. He lost his oldest example in practice in Zandvoort and has been juggling the other two since then.

“In terms of engines, I have absolutely no idea,” he said after qualifying in Russia. “Of course I've lost one engine, Valtteri's had several. And there's been others that Mercedes have seen up and down the paddock.

“So right now my I'm trying to treat my engines, the ones that we put in, with the absolute care when I'm driving, in terms of how much I'm gassing it, how much I'm revving the thing, revving the nuts off it, just really trying to minimise the laps that I do. But who knows? I can't control the future.”

shares
comments

Related video

Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix – How to watch, start time & more
Previous article

Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix – How to watch, start time & more

Next article

Hamilton: Wait for 100th F1 win "taking longer than ever"

Hamilton: Wait for 100th F1 win "taking longer than ever"
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021