Mercedes change Bottas’ engine again in Abu Dhabi
It was all change on Valtteri Bottas’ Silver Arrow on Friday night as Mercedes were forced to fit a new power unit for the second time this weekend in Abu Dhabi, ahead of final practice…
Mercedes mechanical failures are rare, with Bottas’ engine problem in Brazil the team’s first since Austria 2018. They fitted a new internal combustion engine (ICE), turbocharger and MGU-H ahead of Friday practice, triggering a string of grid penalties that would confine him to the back of the grid.
Bottas made the most of a fresh latest spec power unit to go quickest in both 90-minute practice sessions, but it wasn’t completely smooth for the Finn as he collided clumsily with Romain Grosjean, which earned him a reprimand from the stewards.
Overnight, Mercedes discovered a pneumatic leak – which had nothing to do with the contact with Grosjean according to the team – on the fresh PU which couldn’t be fixed, so they were forced to change it again.
As a result, Bottas has taken an extra ICE, MGU-H, MGU-K and turbocharger. That triggers more penalties, but they are irrelevant given he’s already starting from the back of the pack on Sunday evening.