Bottas hit by Russian GP grid penalty after engine change in F1 – .

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Bottas hit by Russian GP grid penalty after engine change in F1 – .


The team expect the Finn, who initially qualified seventh, will start from 17th place, giving him three places ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s title rival Max Verstappen.
The strategic move gives Mercedes the opportunity to potentially jeopardize Verstappen’s attempt to charge into the field after the Dutchman picked up a full set of new Honda engine parts for FP2 on Friday.

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

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

Mercedes has suffered from reliability issues in recent weeks, and Bottas has also lost the use of a PU following an accident.

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

“For Valtteri, we are always thinking about possible strategic decisions to be made in an hour or two on the best and fastest racing strategy for him,” he said, when asked by Motorsport.com about the strategic options of Mercedes for Sochi. .

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Before the decision was confirmed, Bottas – known as a specialist in Sochi – believed he still had a chance for victory from seventh place on the grid.

“It’s a great opportunity in the championship,” he said. “It’s always a great 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 a dry race in particular, we’ll be there or so. So yeah, it should be an interesting race. “

Attention now turns to when Hamilton will have to take a fourth PU and therefore face grid penalties. He lost his oldest copy in training at Zandvoort and has been juggling the other two ever since.

“In terms of engines, I have absolutely no idea,” he said after qualifying in Russia. “Of course I lost an engine, Valtteri had several. And there have been others that Mercedes has seen getting in and out of the paddock.

“So right now I’m trying to treat my engines, the ones we put in them, with absolute care when driving, in terms of how much gas, how fast I’m spinning the thing. , turning heads, really trying to minimize the tricks I do. But who knows? I cannot control the future.

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