Valtteri Bottas admits Mercedes is working ‘very hard’ to determine the cause behind the engine problems and above all to avoid further grid penalties.
Bottas was given a new power source at Monza, which was his fourth of the season and therefore put him on a grid penalty. He did win the sprint qualifier on Saturday, but he had to start at the back of the Grand Prix. Mercedes had hoped to be able to finish the rest of the season with the new engine, but a problem with the new engine was already revealed on Friday in Sochi. As a result, Bottas again got a new power source on ‘his’ Sochi and he had to start again from the back, although it was then sixteenth place because there were several drivers with a grid penalty. Bottas admits Mercedes is working hard to determine the cause.
“Obviously we tried to maximize the points for the Constructors’ Championship,” said Bottas. “We managed to draw small gaps to Red Bull. But the weekends were certainly not perfect. Lately, grid penalties have become a thing. The team is working very hard to find out exactly what is going on. They try to avoid the grid penalties. There are still quite a few races to go and Turkey and Austin should suit us, but it will be exciting,” said the Finn. Mercedes failed to prevent those grid penalties: they gave Lewis Hamilton a new combustion engine for the Turkish Grand Prix and received a ten-place grid penalty for it.
After the Russian Grand Prix, Bottas posted a remarkable picture on his Instagram Stories. Then he stood in front of a scrap heap full of broken engines. It was meant as a joke, but it put the finger on the sore spot. Did the team say anything about it? “I haven’t heard from them. I assume they are fine with it and I just thought it was funny, I saw it pass by somewhere and had to laugh. Sometimes you just need a little humor in life,” Bottas concludes.