Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2021

Bottas to start at the back again after another change of power unit

2021 Russian Grand Prix

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Mercedes has changed several power unit parts in Valtteri Bottas’ car for the second race weekend in a row, meaning he will take a penalty and start towards the rear of the field.

Bottas will start the Russian Grand Prix with a new engine, turbocharger and MGU-H fitted to his car. As this is the second time he has exceeded the maximum number of power unit components he receives a five-place penalty for each change, adding up to a total of 15 places. Had he exceeded a 15-place grid drop he would have automatically had to start from the back of the grid, as Max Verstappen and others are doing.

Mercedes said they are “taking the tactical opportunity to put another [power unit] in the pool with [Valtteri Bottas].”

The change places Bottas close to his team mate’s championship rival Max Verstappen on the grid. Bottas will start ahead of Verstappen, who has a three-place grid drop from the previous race as well as the penalty for changing his power unit.

Bottas originally qualified seventh for today’s race at the Sochi Autodrom. Verstappen took last place on the grid having chosen not to set a representative time during the qualifying session.

The penalty for Bottas will leave him 17th on the grid ahead of Nicholas Latifi and Charles Leclerc – who also changed their power units – and Verstappen. His relegation will promote Lance Stroll ao seventh place and move Verstappen’s Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez onto the fourth row of the grid in eighth position.

Lewis Hamilton, who trails Verstappen by five points in the championship, will start today’s race fourth behind Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz Jnr and George Russell.

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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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157 comments on “Bottas to start at the back again after another change of power unit”

  1. Constantijn Blondel
    26th September 2021, 9:34

    Ugh – I’m sorry, but I think that’s really lame to make it so obvious he’s nothing more than Lewis’ bottboy. :(

    1. Funniest thing is when RB made perez sacrifice his point to take away Lewis fastest lap Merc fans were like ThEy ArE oNlY fOr MaX

      1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
        26th September 2021, 10:15

        From a team standpoint what Red Bull did is defensible as either both teams scored a point or neither team scored a point.

        No Mercedes sacrifices Bottas and points with the sole purpose of Hamilton gaining more points. So the team sacrifices points to help Lewis – that is just plain wrong.

        1. pretty sure Bottas is gonna come in second place anyway. we’ll know in a few hours

          1. @nickthegreek
            I just hope he make it into turn 1 without bowlinging the drivers in front of him. Besides, Bottas seems to suffer more than Hamilton when racing in traffic.

        2. Mercedes needs the widest margine of points between Hamilton and Verstappen. So they’ll want Bottas blocking Verstappen’s progress throught the field in the early stages of the race. Also if Bottas car wasn’t set up fast enough in qualifying, then because of the engine mode changed rules, this would be the only other way to improve the engine’s set up.

          Bottas should now be a match for anything Verstappen has, they may even risk the engine by turning it up from ‘mode 9’ to ‘mode 11’.

    2. So you think Mercedes are prepared to possibly risk a fist full of very important WCC points simply to support Hamilton, and do you really think that Bottas can manage to delay Verstappen for any length of time, he’s not done very well in that department recently.

      1. Right with you Foggy, there’s a lot of dim viewpoints down here today. Verstappen will eat him in a lap.

        1. +1 a very poor attempt by Keith to put more hate into the forum. Mercedes wouldn’t drop Bottas to help Hamilton when Max will likely pass in within a hand full of laps. Mercedes said “it’s a tactical move to give Bottas more parts for later in the season.” It makes sense and is the exact reason why Max is starting at the back. So why all of a sudden when Mercedes do the same is it to help Hamilton? It won’t help him at all when he’s getting out qualified by Bottas with a much fresher engine. Shame articles like this really don’t help matters. Keith is such a sell out.

          1. Well said Tom.

    3. As a fan of Valtteri’s all I can say is “Aaaaaaaarrrrrgh”….

  2. Oh !
    I hope he doesnt plan bowling game again …

    1. Toto is planning a “tactical foul”

      1. That was my first thought also.
        Putting bottas near verstappen seems no coincidence

        1. But then again Bittas is no match whatsoever for Max. The delay Max will encounter is max a second or two. Unless Bottas takes him out again. Then the season is over. Same for Lewis. If Lewis doesnt DNF somewhere this season its all over and he can claim his tainted 8th title

      2. If Bottas crashes into Verstappen again the whole team should be excluded from the championship. Taking a grid penalty in order to be close to Max to take him out would be the most unsporting thing in F1 history. That should cost the driver and team management their right to participate in F1 for ever.

        1. And they start next season with -1000 points 🙄🙄

        2. Its much more likely Verstappen will crash into Bottas again ….

    2. For all his faults, Bottas has by far the cleanest reputation out of the four drivers in a top car.

      In fact, he is often accused of being too timid.

  3. Constantijn Blondel
    26th September 2021, 9:35

    Sorry! I clicked ‘report’ instead of ‘reply’. Mods: please ignore.

    What I wanted to say is: it’s tactical, and it smells foul.

    1. It’s a team sport and tactical is part of it.
      But in this case it’s a bit extreme and solely meant to ‘block’ another driver. Feels wrong.

      But I might be wrong and they only want to undo some of the Hungary damage and use Bottas now as a bulldozer/wrecking ball to free up the road for Verstappen.

      1. This may backfire against Mercedes in such a way… Bottas is sure not happy with being used like that. He already signed his Alfa deal for 2023, so he won’t be forced to comply, for whom it may concern…

        Bottas, like Barrichello and Massa, can only be pushed to a certain point. I can see him happly giving Verstappen a tow in the first lap.

        1. And then he’s fired the next day and yet has to pay a huge fine for violating his contract. Don’t be ridiculous.

          1. It’s mercedes who has to pay several mill to get rid of him, don’t be silly back to you!

  4. Sour grapes much lol

  5. This is really becoming silly…

    1. Now I really want to see Mercedes lose the constructors championship.

      1. They’re not deserving any of the titles tbh.

  6. Disgusting, will try and hold Verstappen up, that’s just bad karma right there, this will tarnish Lewis’ image if he wins and Verstappen is stuck behind Bottas most of the race.

  7. How exactly does it make sense to “place him near Verstappen for tactical reasons”?

    In my opinion it would even be more reasonable to change Hamilton’s power unit and take that penalty now.

    1. To try and get ahead of him and hold him up which could actually work as the merc is the quickest in a straight line.

      1. My understanding is he will start in front of Max as Valtteri takes a 10 place drop from 7th to 17th. Max is starting plum last?

        It does seem a very illogical tactical decision though, when the constructors is still very much up for grabs. Why would you not, instead, concentrate on maximising the points differential to your closest rivals?

        I’m a Merc fan, but this seems just plain daft.

        1. Agreed. I can only assume they are prioritising the drivers championship over constructors! Seems odd though

          1. Which doesn’t make sense for a car manufacturer

        2. Probably thinking exactly the same as RB did when looking to change Max’s engine. If RB believe Max can recover to the front from the back in Sochi, Merc probably believe the same for Bottas from P17. But to me the daft thing is the severe restrictions on engines that results in situations like this. Just another artificial rule to spice up the grid and move F1 further away from a meritocracy.

          1. I think the issue here is that there doesn’t seem to be any reason for Bottas engine change other than to try and interfere with Max’s recovery drive. I find it an uncomfortable situation to be honest. This is very low from Mercedes

          2. Bottas just had his 4th engine swap in Monza, he doesn’t need one here. Toto was saying before this was announced that he was planning something tactical for the team with Bottas and it seems like this is what it was. It’s purely to slow Max down and I don’t think they care in the slightest whether or not he scores points, but if he can stop Max from doing so.

            As for this rule, it actually isn’t that bad. The only teams who have had to go over this season have been ones that have lost engines in crashes, so clearly the engines last long enough. Also, it stops them from replacing engines every race which is expensive, bad for the environment and causes manufacturers to sacrifice reliability for power, which then results in these engines being more reliable and hence why it’s rare for an engine to blow up these days compared to past decades where every race would have a few blow-ups. This also has real-world benefits for road cars and thus makes F1 more relevant.

          3. I think the issue here is that you refuse to continence any other reason for throwing new parts at the car in respect of Mercedes, whilst accepting many of the others are throwing as many new parts at their cars as they think they can manage for other reasons. Anyway, if you truly believe what you are saying surely its far easier for Bottas to slow the chasing pack that would include Max from 7th on the grid, than hope to from the back of the pack just one row in front of Max and Charles. Surely the Merc logic would dictate that you are better of with a dozen cars between you than two.

        3. In terms of the constructors, Hamilton is (and will likely stay) in front of Perez, so there is a net gain in the WCC. Mercedes has also been getting more points over Red Bull compared to Lewis vs Max. However, it’s clear that their priority seems to be winning Lewis another WDC then themselves a WCC weirdly, I guess it’s even more team Lewis than we previously thought.

        4. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
          26th September 2021, 10:58

          Merc is quick, RB is quick, they’ll both scythe through the pack. I don’t know how this holding up business is going to take place. Should have focussed on maximizing points this weekend, or taken the power unit penalty for Lewis…unless Toto has instructed Bottas to play naughty, in which case it can be done on any weekend, why today?

      2. It still doesn’t make any sense unless they think that Max his race pace is quicker or that Bottas deliberately don’t put the effort in to pass other drivers and wait for Max to block him and make sure they both don’t get into the points. I can’t believe the latter option because that would be very unsportsmanlike

        1. Of course Max’s race pace is going to be quicker than Bottas. It has been for the whole season

    2. So he can “accidentally” crash into him again…

  8. Remember when Ferrari broke a seal on Massa’s engine to get Alonso on the clean side of the grid? I am sure that all of the people who called for them to be penalised etc will be frothing at the mouth at what Mercedes are doing now.

    1. True. I also assume anyone mad about this was equally as furious when Perez had to sacrifice his whole qualifying in Monza to give Verstappen a tow.

      1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
        26th September 2021, 10:17

        Like there was grid position for Perez to sacrifice, not like Perez would have qualified top 4 anyway.

        1. So it’s ok for a team to sacrifice one driver to help the other as long as the driver that benefits is one you like personally. Understood.

    2. @red-andy This is much, much worse. Massa only got a 5-grid penalty and Alonso got moved up one place (and got to start from the clean side of the track). Here Bottas’ race has been absolutely botched and Hamilton still starts from 4th.

      There should be a rule against fake grid drops such as this.

    3. Both situations are disgusting

    4. @red-andy
      Spot on ! I remember also the scandalous press conference in Hockenheim 2010 where some of the British journalists were behaving like fanboys accusing Ferrari drivers of cheating. Eddie Jordan in the BBC was doing the moralist in that weekend despite his history with team orders.
      Mercedes in terms of team orders, wingman second driver, dirty tricks on and off the tracks, politics… has been behaving far more worse than Ferrari ever did but they still keep getting the unjustified praise by biased media.

      1. Agree, they’ve been unsportsmanlike for a long time, probably ever since they were in contention for championships.

    5. @red-andy Morality and sportsmanship aside, Ferrari doing that made more sense since they were only fighting for the driver’s championship and not the constructor’s. Mercedes are still competing for the WCC.

  9. That’s pretty low, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like this from a team.

    It’s also probably not the most “tactical” decision either… having go long or do more pit stops would have caused more headaches for verstappen, especially if conditions are mixed

    1. Yeah. This doesn’t sit right with me either. I hope Bottas is sensible here and doesn’t do himself a dis-service. He’s leaving the team soon that haven’t treated him great and he’d do well to remember that.

    2. Makes me wonder about the Hungary accident caused by Bottas.

      The news this morning suddenly made me think back to Singapore 2008.

    3. Mercedes are playing the mind games on themselves at this point

  10. I have a question.
    Is bottas still in parc ferme after this?
    I would think that max has a setup for the race, while most of the grid (including bottas ?) might have more downforce because of the slippery qualifying they had to go through.

    1. @tungdil12 – I would assume so.

    2. If not then he has to start from the pit, thus behind Verstappen, and all would be in vain.

  11. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
    26th September 2021, 9:55

    Yes, because Max can win in an Alpine…

    1. So can Ocon. Your point?

  12. The change appears to have been done for tactical reasons, placing Bottas close to his team mate’s championship rival Max Verstappen on the grid

    So the tactic is to prevent Verstappen charging through the field? Or am I missing something?

    1. Yes, verstappen would rapidly go past slower cars but he’ll struggle to pass a fast Mercedes and if/when he does the field will have stretched out ahead of him.

      I think it’s once again very unfair to Bottas, especially as it’s Hamilton who messed up, but it’s part of being in a team sport I suppose.

    2. That’s the official stance.
      Maybe Bottas is gonna strategically plow into the back of Verstappen today, who knows

      1. If that happened (and I saw this after watching the race) I want to hope there is something like exclusion of a team from the championship for unsportsmanlike conduct, after all mclaren was excluded by 2007 for spygate.

  13. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
    26th September 2021, 10:04

    Let’s stop insulting each others’ intelligence: both teams are out to help their respective team leaders, Hamilton and Verstappen.

    And why wouldn’t they?

    1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      26th September 2021, 10:19

      There is a clear difference in the length the teams are willing to go, Mercedes now clearly demonstrated that Lewis is more important than the team – a pretty shocking truth.

      1. Yes the clear difference is that you believe RB and Max are always on the right side of the line, whilst the Merc and Ham are always on the wrong side. Which isn’t a shock to anyone.

    2. Doesn’t matter what you say, Max/RB fans will spin it as a dirty tactic just as Lewis/Merc fans do when the shoe is on the other foot. While others just look forward to an exciting race and see if it works or if it spectacularly fails.

  14. The change appears to have been done for tactical reasons, placing Bottas close to his team mate’s championship rival Max Verstappen on the grid

    This appears to be pure speculation.

    1. It’s normal to speculate in this case, apparently RaceFans still don’t have an official explanation from Mercedes about the reason why they have changed the Unit already fresh on Bottas’s car. If this was done due to technical issue, it would have been already clarified by Mercedes.

    2. Emma, Merc just anounced it’s a tactical move to slow down Max. Hamilton needs all the support she can get to win this WC

      1. No they haven’t! They’ve said it’s to add more engines to Bottas stock pile which will help him later on. It makes sense as from 7th the win is in doubt anyway. Starting p17 with a new engine for the season is better than starting p7 and having a DNF later in the season or taking a penalty when overtaking is much harder. Idiotic comments on an idiotic article.

      2. Merc just anounced it’s a tactical move


        to slow down Max

        Completely and embarassingly wrong.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          26th September 2021, 11:51

          If Verstappen wasn’t starting last, Mercedes wouldn’t have changed any parts. 100% it’s designed to slow Verstappen down. Embarrassing to pretend otherwise.

          1. Ok @petebaldwin

            So why did Verstappen choose to take a penalty? The only embarrassment is your understanding of modern F1

          2. If Verstappen wasn’t starting last, Mercedes wouldn’t have changed any parts.

            Correct. But not for the reason you give. This was purely to take advantage of a weekend when Red Bull were unlikely to grab a huge haul of WCC points to get another engine.

  15. Can RBR do the same with Perez to prevent Bottas from charging through the field ?

    1. nope cause Perez will start lower than Bottas if he changes his engine now

      1. @nickthegreek,
        He’ll be right next to him on the penultimate row and with slipstream he can surely do something, if he can’t he will have to let Max past as soon as possible.

    2. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      26th September 2021, 10:21

      What is the point, Perez would not be of much help and might create a DRS train.

  16. I’d expect hij to start from the pitlane as he’s breaking parc ferme

    1. @anunaki Changing PU components isn’t a Parc Ferme breach and never has been. Only if for a different spec copy.

      1. @ jerejj Thanks didn’t know that

  17. Engine, TC, & MGU-H. Interesting tactics.

  18. “Interesting tactics.”

  19. What a farce this site has become. “Appears to be done for tactical reasons” yet no evidence to back that up. Honestly, you call this journalism? I guess you have to try manufacture those clicks any way possible ey Keith. Anyone who actually pays for this rubbish should get a refund.

    1. You’re as bad as the daily mail, stoking tensions between the two sides. Pathetic.

    2. Ben, Merc just anounced it is a tactical move. Relax!

      1. No they have not. Look at all the hate in the comments above. It’s madness that articles like this are allowed to exist. Pathetic Keith

        1. Ben, it’s even posted on the official F1 site as tactical – in Mercedes’ own words.

          1. Yes, tactical to help Bottas. The article clearly misuses the quote to make it seem like Mercedes have done it to help Hamilton, which of course the “orange army” lap up. Keith knew exactly what he was doing. This isn’t the first time and actually isn’t even the first time this weekend.. so poor

          2. How does this help Bottas? Did he secretly want to start at the back, and be overtaken early in the race by Verstappen?
            He took a brand new engine two races ago!

          3. How does it help Verstappen? Did he decide he wanted to start at the back? It’s the same point.

            There’s several races left and Mercedes are low on engine parts. Yes, Bottas took a new one in Monza but he also destroyed one in Imola and the others have high mileage because of that. Having a new engine in stock will be extremely helpful in Brazil, Mexico and Abu Dhabi. It’s a know fact that Sochi is a good track to take the penalty (as RedBull chose to do with Max) so why is it any surprise that after a poor qualifying Mercedes looked at the situation and thought now is also a perfect time to take one. It’s common sense.

        2. They did, look at the article on F1 official site where it clearly states that a spokesperson from Mercedes aknowledged that the move was tactical and not forced by a technical issue.

          1. Tactical to help Bottas… @gechichan please wake up

    3. A quote from Toto on Saturday:
      “For Valtteri, we are still thinking about possible strategic decisions to be taken in the next hour or two…”

      Now if it was for reliability issues or something like that, they would’ve stated that fact outright to clear things up and stop speculation, but they didn’t. So we can with confidence out rule that. Plus, that quote from yesterday makes it somewhat clear it’s a strategic decision. Now, you could argue it might’ve been strategic based on Bottas needing a new engine, but he got that just last race in Monza and doesn’t need one, so we can rule that out as well. It’s certainly not to improve his race result since starting in 17th isn’t going to be better than starting in 7th regardless of having a new engine (and even then his current one was only 1 race old). So, what other logical reason comes to mind for this? It’s not too far of a stretch to assume it’s done to hold Max up. In fact, I can’t think of any other reason as to why they would do this.

    4. I might have to change my username now.

      1. So king Keith doesn’t ban you? Ooo I’m so scared.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          26th September 2021, 11:55

          No – so people don’t mistake him for you. I’d be annoyed if someone started using my name to post ridiculous comments…

        2. That’s just so that your comments get vanished..

          1. A lot of valid point have already been deleted… simply because they questioned the article. This is worse than I originally thought

          2. I saw something suspicious too, perfectly normal comments vanishing, not as harsh as these ones.

  20. A pity Merc does not state the real reason.
    For heavens sake let’s hope Bottas won’t do anything stupid while defending. That would stir up all the forums for another month or two.

    1. That’s all I hope as well. Bottas doesnt have many races left with Merc but does ha e a future in F1. Best not to do anything silly…..

  21. Perhaps this is what Bottas meant when he said he was ‘going to take one for the team’ earlier in the week. Personally I think it’s quite gross tactics and a horrible way to treat Bottas. Red Bull have certainly used their other car tactically when required to do so but I can’t think of a time they deliberately gave themselves a penalty just to screw around with a rival team. It’s like that time Ferrari gave Massa a penalty just to help Alonso – it was pretty gross then and it still is now.

    1. Except that they are not screwing around with a rival team. All they’re doing is getting Bottas more engine parts for the rest of the season at a circuit where they are reasonably sure he will go well and recover a good haul of points. I’m not sure where all the common sense that used to be on this forum has gone. If it was to impede Max, surely Bottas could do that better if he started 7th. Now, Max may very well sail past him before the end of Lap 1. I can’t believe the number of people who actually think this will help Lewis!

      1. Nope. Being closer to Max at the start means that he can potentially hold Max up for longer. Its a bit naive to think otherwise

        1. So how did that work out?

          1. Yes, you were right, but it’s also well known that bottas usually can’t hold up verstappen and I agree that it’s at least weird to make him start 17th instead of 7th. Surprised however bottas drove so bad in russia though (got lucky on an early wet tyre change), he’d have been out of the points.

  22. Mistake. They should have left Bottas at front – let him take as much points to WCC (and possibly hold Verstappen if he catches him during the race) & Hamilton should have made the PU & gearbox changes and fight or at least follow closely Verstappen to the flag.

    Hamilton will still have to take the penalty at one point, or run the engines so conservatively that it will affect him more than the one-time penalty. This is so risky from Mercedes.

  23. Depending on what week it is we get the same posters who think Bottas is a match or would beat Ham if only let lose is not good enough to come through the pack in a rocket ship in the same way Max or Ham does.
    Hopefully today will help them make up their minds.

    1. it’s about posters again ian?

      1. Ad nauseam

    2. It didn’t, did it? However he surprised me at monza.

  24. If anything happens to Verstapen from Bottas deliberate, this is the end for f1 from me as long Toto continues to exist in f1.
    This pretty lame and bad and takes out all the respect i have to Mercedes team all this year’s.
    I really hope nothing will happen.

    1. If something fishy happens I can see Mercedes getting thrown out of the constructors championship. Not that they care much about it apparently

      1. Hopefully something like this (being thrown out) can happen cause mercedes can stoop pretty low.

  25. BUT BUT BUT, what if Hamilton botches a bad start again (as seen multiple times) and dropped to 10th position behind Ricciardo, Alonso, Perez? That would be funny situation…

  26. As much as teams have favoured one driver over another in the past, I don’t think we’ve seen anything like this before. The saddest part is that, though the Merc is quicker in a straight line, I can imagine Max dealing with him very quickly, and then what? Bottas on another recovery drive behind Max? I really don’t see the logic behind it at all.

    Toto & Christian need to go have a cup of tea with each other, talk about their differences, and not throw ‘wild cards’ at each in the hope one of them looks like a brilliant tactician.

    1. @bernasaurus Yeah I can see this backfiring and not really helping at all. With Bottas starting P7 then he is guaranteed to finish in the top 5 and ahead of Max, taking points away from him purely by his finishing position. Now Max has a decent chance of finishing ahead of Bottas and scoring more points.

  27. @bernasaurus
    Comment of the day !
    Though they are still getting praised by the biased media which is absolutely sad. Instead, they should be shamed for what they are doing and will still do to let Hamilton win the championship at all costs.

  28. Bottas is Mercedes little boy whore .. to ruin Bottas race completely is disgusting. If you have to swap places during the race I get it but now you deliberately deny him a podium!

  29. Wow this is pathetic display of driver over team, they are throwing away lots of constructors point just for the sake of “potentially” blocking max. He could have still done that from the place he is right now but this raises a lot of negative questions. If Valteri has any self respect, he let Max past in a breeze because this is degrading stuff man.

    1. Well, he did! However his racecraft is so poor I don’t know if it was deliberate. Terrible race, lucked out on an early wet tyre call.

  30. McLaren is the big winner with this and they are laughing their ass off. Second place for Norris is almost guaranteed now. Hope Lando can stay in front of Lewis 💪

    1. He’d have done it on the dry, such a shame.

  31. The comments are full of people who know nothing about F1. I’d say it’s sad but hopefully this site fails soon enough and Keith can reflect on exactly why that was.

  32. Hello Sara Jane, have you migrated to this forum now and brought all your Mercedes/Hamilton hate from PF1 with you, that really is sad.

    1. PF1 being…?

  33. This has been updated following the publication of the FIA stewards’ document detailing Bottas’ penalty.

    1. @keithcollantine Not before you stoked tensions and got nearly 100 comments on an article which would usually receive around 5 tho Keith.

      Honestly, you should hang your head in shame today. That was a dumb move and you’ve just lost all credibility.

      1. How many of these comments are yours, Ben?

        1. The ones which say “Ben” on them… is that difficult for you to understand?

        2. petebaldwin (@)
          26th September 2021, 11:57

          The ones that sounded like an angry 12 year old wrote them.

          1. So I’m a 12 year old because I do my own research and call out “journalists” who bend the truth for financial gain. Yet you believe everything you read on the internet and argue mere opinions are fact… Great logic there @petebaldwin

      2. Settle down. This article has reported the objective facts. Thanks for the update.

        1. @tommy-c The “objective facts” were readily available on Mercedes own Twitter at the time Keith bodged this article together. He purposely used “tactical” and then spoke about Verstappen to make the less intelligent believe Mercedes had done this to help Hamilton. It’s clearly worked too…

      3. Well, even just not deleting your comments is a plus for keith I suppose.

  34. Either hold Verstappen up or a tactical foul. Bottas will of course do whatever he is told.

  35. Mercedes really are starting to embarrass themselves.

    It seems that they told Bottas about this cunning plan a little too early when he announced he was happy to take one for the team here.

  36. It’s toto.. What would you expect

  37. Was I the only one who saw a flea fly into Bottas’ airbox at Monza, damaging his engine?

  38. One advantage Max has is that his car will have a 100% dry race set-up and almost no one else will have that (maybe LeClerc?). Let’s hope he smokes the lot and takes home a win… That would be hilarious and poetic justice.

    1. 2nd place wasn’t bad in the situation, however I expected a bit more from verstappen on the dry, such as an ending dry order of: norris, hamilton, sainz, verstappen, instead he was settling for 7th, apparently due to bad tyres.

  39. I guess it makes sense. Red Bull is probably rather optimistic Max can pass most cars on his way through the field relatively comfortably. The Mercedes will definitely slow his progress and Lewis needs all the help he can get after yesterday. Looking forward to this one! (Well, I look forward to every one but still!)

  40. The comments here are proof, if anyone needed it, that the Max vs Lewis battle has made a lot of people lose their marbles.

    1. Yep, its like Facebook and F1 had a baby…

    2. +1

      There’s simply no logic anymore. Mercedes decide to take a penalty and it’s a big conspiracy to help Hamilton. Yet RedBull do the exact same thing and it’s a smart move which will help Max later in the year…

      This is the best opportunity to take new parts. RedBull chose it because they thought they’d be starting 4th at best. So why is it a surprise when Bottas qualifies 7th that Mercedes also see this as a good chance to get another engine into the stock pile? It’s so obvious, yet one smartly worded article on here and misuse of the word “tactical” and everyone hates Mercedes. It’s actually sad how easily people are manipulated.

  41. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    26th September 2021, 11:42

    The alternate school of thought is Bottas now has 2 new engines in his pool and can therefore turn them up for the remainder of the season. When Lewis takes his penalty, Merc may be hoping Bottas can disrupt proceedings at the front with his higher power modes.

    1. This shouldn’t have been the alternate view. It is the logical one except that logic seemingly no longer applies.

  42. I think more likely, to disrupt Red Bull’s pit strategy

  43. Didn’t Bottas take a tactical penalty last race to increase his pool of available power units.

    What will he do with even more power units? Take them to Alfa Romeo for 2022?

    1. Probably, so the team can become more competitive by studying merc power units!

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