Mercedes Explain Reason for Changing Bottas’ Engine for SIXTH Time This Season Amid 5-Place Grid Penalty at US GP

Published 10/22/2021, 3:09 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 10, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during an interview after winning the race REUTERS/Umit Bektas


Mercedes have installed another Internal Combustion Engine for Valtteri Bottas at the US GP. This is the team’s second consecutive ICE change after Lewis Hamilton took new ICE in Turkey last time around.

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The new ICE for Bottas meant he will take a 5 place grid penalty. This is Bottas’ sixth power unit change and his third in the past four races. Mercedes had earlier come out and stated that they are worried about their engine reliability and hence are trying to solve the issues.

When asked why had they taken the new power unit component, the team took to social media gave an answer.

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“Because of the regulations, it means we can find the best balance of performance and reliability for the rest of the season, but only take a five-place penalty. Hence the decision to change the ICE,” said Mercedes.

As reported by Formula One, Williams driver Russell has taken his fourth ICE, fourth MGU-H, fourth turbocharger, and fourth exhaust in the race and will start at the back of the field.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel has also taken his fourth ICE, fourth turbo, fifth exhaust, and fourth MGU-H of the season, which will also push him to the back row of the grid.

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Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas fastest in FP1 session at US Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas came out on top after the end of the FP1 session ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton by the margin of 0.045s. The Mercedes duo blitz the field and were fastest by almost a second to Max Verstappen in P3.

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Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 9, 2021, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after qualifying in second position REUTERS/Umit Bektas

The Red Bull could not challenge the pace of their German rivals but will look to bounce back stronger. The other Red Bull of Sergio Perez finished in P7, but he did most of the runs on the hard tires.

The Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished in P4 and P5. Pierre Gasly finished in his trademark P6 slot with Lando Norris struggling to finish in P8. The Alfa Romeo rounded out the top-10, with Giovinnazi ahead of Kimi.

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It would be fascinating to see if the Austrian team could challenge the pace of Mercedes in FP2.

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Devang Chauhan

567 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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