Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Nurburgring, 2020

Bottas to avoid grid penalty after Nurburgring power unit failure

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas will avoid a grid penalty at this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix following the power unit failure he suffered during the last race.

The Mercedes driver retired at the Nurburgring after a problem developed on his power unit. Mercedes has confirmed a new control electronics unit and energy store will be fitted to Bottas’s car this weekend, bringing him up to the maximum number permitted for both parts.

However Bottas will not need to exceed the maximum permitted number of any parts, which would have led to an automatic grid penalty. Other Mercedes-powered drivers will also receive the same new hardware as Bottas.

The team fitted several new components to the cars of Bottas and team mate Lewis Hamilton prior to the Eifel Grand Prix. Team principal Toto Wolff said the decision to stop Bottas’s car when they did avoided more serious damage to the power unit.

“We have identified a failed electrical component in the control electronics as the cause of the problem,” said Wolff, “and the evidence suggests that swift action in retiring the car prevented mechanical damage to his power unit.”

Bottas’s retirement means he now trails team Hamilton by 69 points in the championship contest.

“Going from pole position to a DNF and a significant points loss for him in the drivers’ championship… was undoubtedly a tough blow at this stage of the season,” said Wolff. “A DNF is always tough for a driver, but one of Valtteri’s biggest strengths is his resilience and his ability to bounce back, so I’m sure he’ll be eager to hit the track in Portugal.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Bottas to avoid grid penalty after Nurburgring power unit failure”

  1. Well, at least some good news for Bottas then. Would be good if he kept on that streak of building himself up by going for pole here.

    Then again, I still expect Hamilton to end up starting from the front of the grid. And taking the win.

  2. He was lucky in a way. That DNF masked his Bottleas tendencies when Lewis comes hunting

  3. Lewis has leaned when to press his car, and when to drive within its capacity
    That’s a lesson which only comes with experiance.

    As long as Bottas continues to max out his car in the minor qualifying runs,
    he risk over stressing the engine and its key componants

    1. This would be like blaming Hamilton for his next mechanical retirement because he is almost always faster than Bottas…

      If Bottas’s driving style was related to engine trouble, the team would have discussed it with him and his approach would have changed. It is far more likely to just be coincidence. Although Bottas does seem worse off every year. But if you think that is more down to bottas, you can start saying Hamilton must have treated his engine terribly in 2016.

      I think it is just unfortunate more than anything.

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