Back-of-grid start for Bottas

Image by Jerry Andre/LAT

Back-of-grid start for Bottas

Formula 1

Back-of-grid start for Bottas


Valtteri Bottas will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the back of the grid as a result of a power unit penalty.

The Finn retired from the last race in Brazil after a sudden increase in oil consumption led to his power unit shutting down. After analyzing the engine back at its Brixworth factory in the UK, Mercedes concluded he will need to take a new power unit. The FIA confirmed Bottas has taken a fresh internal combustion engine turbocharger and MGU-H.

With the associated penalty adding up to 20 grid positions, Bottas is required to start the race from the back of the grid but says he still hopes to be able to take a full part in qualifying.

“I still want to fight for pole position — it would be good fun, with a fresh engine as well,” Bottas said. “But definitely the main focus will be on the race preparation because I’m going to start from the back. We have to see what we can do with the setup, to prioritize the race pace and also the kind of work we’ll do in practice will be to maximize our speed in the race for this circuit and with the circumstances we have.”

Bottas is already secure in second place in the drivers’ championship heading into this weekend’s season-ending round, as he leads Max Verstappen by 54 points.