Bottas and Hulkenberg to start from back in Belgium

Image by Sam Bloxham/LAT

Bottas and Hulkenberg to start from back in Belgium

Formula 1

Bottas and Hulkenberg to start from back in Belgium


Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg will start from the back of the grid at the Belgian Grand Prix as a result of power unit penalties.

Both drivers have taken complete new power units for this weekend’s race at Spa-Francorchamps, consisting of a new internal combustion engine (ICE), turbocharger, MGU-H, MGU-K, energy store and control electronics. Each new component is above the maximum allowed for the season, meaning the two drivers will be forced to start from the back of the grid.

Mercedes got the jump on Renault by informing the FIA’s technical delegate of the change on August 20 — with the French constructor confirming its plans a day later — meaning Bottas will line up ahead of Hulkenberg on the grid.

The penalties come with a number of drivers taking new power units at Spa, with Mercedes introducing a new engine for both of its works cars as well as customers Williams and Force India.

Ferrari has also taken an updated power unit that it first introduced in Hungary, with customers Haas and Sauber testing the upgrade at the Hungaroring and Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen receiving it this weekend along with a new fuel formula from Shell.

As well as Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz has taken a new Renault power unit — but without penalty — while Stoffel Vandoorne is the only Renault-powered customer to also receive new components in his McLaren.

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