Mercedes has decided to change the engine of Valtteri Bottas after the mediocre qualifying for Mercedes. He starts reasonably behind, but still ahead of Max Verstappen.
Valtteri Bottas must start the Russian Grand Prix from the back regions. Mercedes changed his engine with of course a grid penalty as a result. Because Max Verstappen also received that grid penalty for the crash at Monza on top of his grid penalty for the engine change, he will start behind the Mercedes driver.
Bottas will start in seventeenth position as he stayed ahead of those two other drivers with a grid penalty for an engine change, Charles Leclerc and Nicholas Latifi, in qualifying.
From a tactical point of view, it could be a smart move by Mercedes. Yes, people give track position on, but in the rear regions Bottas may make the advance of Verstappen considerably more difficult.