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Bottas to start Abu Dhabi season finale from back of the grid

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 14: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP walks in the Paddock

Valtteri Bottas is set for a long Sunday evening in Abu Dhabi, after his Mercedes team were forced to replace power unit elements on the Finn’s W10, meaning he’ll start from the back of the grid.

Bottas suffered Mercedes’ first mechanical failure since Austria 2018 at the Brazilian Grand Prix last time out, his Mercedes experiencing a sudden rise in oil consumption before he was forced to pull off the track. Following on from that, ahead of the final race of the year at Yas Marina, Mercedes made the call to replace the Finn’s internal combustion engine, turbocharger and MGU-H.

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The subsequent grid penalties from those changes will make it a tall order for Bottas to repeat his 2017 win at Abu Dhabi, with the Grand Prix never having been won from lower than fourth on the grid – while this year will now mark the first time since 2014 that Mercedes won’t lock out the front row at Abu Dhabi.

Prior to this weekend, meanwhile, Bottas had been the only driver on the grid not to have been handed a grid penalty of some sort this year.

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