Valtteri Bottas hopes engine penalty issues are now over after Austin


Valtteri Bottas is praying that his power unit issues are now over after taking another penalty at the United States GP.

For the third time in four races, Bottas was forced to lower the starting order with the United States Grand Prix marking the pursuit of Mercedes engine gremlins.

Bottas was forced to move back from the grid in Italy and Russia through engine changes, and although he only changed the internal combustion engine [ICE] for the United States GP, Bottas still incurred a penalty of five grid places.

Leaving him from 9th place on the Circuit of the Americas, Bottas could only manage 6th place under the checkered flag.

“I really hope so,” Bottas told Sky F1 after the race when asked if his engine penalty issues were now over.

“I think now it’s been three times in the last four races so I really hope so.”

As for the feel inside his Mercedes W12, Bottas said he was generally quite happy with Mercedes’ adjustments to the ground and ride height.

But as he spent most of his run stuck in the dirty midfield air, Bottas couldn’t make full use of the performance.

“The car felt really good when it was in the open air. It was a good feeling, but I couldn’t really use the full potential of the car for most of the race behind other cars, ”he admitted.

“I was pretty happy with the set-up of the car and the way it worked otherwise. “

After his dominant display in Turkey, Bottas’ time in Austin has been much less productive.

But starting from 9th place on the grid, his race planned pretty much as he expected.

“It was more or less what I expected, I always knew it was going to be difficult with these temperatures and the cars that followed,” said the 10-time race winner.

“The problem is, at the end of the day when you have the engine penalty and you get behind slower cars… it’s just not easy to pass and there was no help. from a safety car.

“In the first stint, I got stuck behind the AlphaTauris and it cost me a lot of time. Once I got behind slower cars, the difference in pace wasn’t big enough to pass easily.

“I don’t know what more we could have done. It’s not the strongest weekend for us, but in the open air the car felt great and there is a lot of learning that we can take forward as a team.

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