Bottas points to outdated power source after P6 in Abu Dhabi qualifying

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Valtteri Bottas thinks his sixth starting spot in Abu Dhabi is partly due to its outdated powerplant. It is known that the Mercedes engine has more wear and tear than the engines of its rivals on the grid. The Finn is now suffering from this and, in his own words, it cost him two tenths in qualifying at Yas Marina Circuit.

“In Q2 I drove my best lap time and I couldn’t get over that,” the Mercedes driver told Autosport. “When I tried to improve that time, I had the feeling that there was nothing more to gain in the set-up of the car,” he adds. More than that sixth place was simply not possible for Lewis Hamilton’s teammate.

Bottas decided to go for a ‘soft’ mechanical setup at Yas Marina Circuit. He thinks that could be an advantage during the race, but knew that in qualifying it meant losing time. “However, the grip improved significantly. That too, was the explanation of the times around him that were constantly improving.

Bottas drives with outdated Mercedes engine

Bottas also knows that he will take action in Abu Dhabi with an outdated Mercedes engine. ‘I know that it cost me at least two tenths of Friday’s,’ is his estimate. For reliability reasons they still went for the older engine, but according to Bottas that cost him a few starting places in qualifying.

No tow for Hamilton

It also became clear during qualifying that Bottas did not offer Hamilton a tow. The Briton finished the session in second and could therefore have used that tow. “Usually that can easily go wrong for one of the drivers,” Bottas argues. “We just focused on the out-laps and getting our rhythm right.”

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