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Part changes put Bottas on penalty limit

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Part changes put Bottas on penalty limit
By:
Mar 25, 2018, 3:45 AM

Valtteri Bottas is already on the bubble for power unit grid penalties ahead of the 2018 Formula 1 season opener after his Australian Grand Prix qualifying crash.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+

Mercedes has changed the control electronics and energy store in Bottas’s car, as well as its gearbox, after the Finn crashed heavily exiting Turn 1 in Q3 on Saturday.

Although a three engine per season rule has been imposed for 2018, the limit for the control electronics and energy store has gone down to two.

This means the use of a third item at any of the remaining 20 races will trigger a grid penalty.

Though both parts took a heavy hit in the accident, and come as a combined module, has only been removed as a precaution pending further inspection at Mercedes’ Brixworth facility.

The team made the decision late on Saturday evening.

A Mercedes source suggested the team remains optimistic both items will be passed fit after inspection and returned to the pool, leaving Bottas with two for the remainder of the season.

However, any new version of either component will now result in a grid drop, whereas his rivals still have new ones in hand.

The FIA has also confirmed Bottas will take a five-place grid penalty, which will drop him to 15th place for Sunday’s race.

Final grid positions:

PosDriverChassisEngine
1 44  united_kingdom  Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes
2 finland  Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari
3 germany  Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari
4 33  netherlands  Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG
5 20  denmark  Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari
6 france  Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari
7 27  germany  Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault
8 australia  Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG
9 55  spain  Carlos Sainz Jr.  Renault Renault
10 14  spain  Fernando Alonso  McLaren Renault
11 belgium  Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Renault
12 11  mexico  Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes
13 18  canada  Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes
14 31  france  Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes
15 77  finland  Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes
16 28  new_zealand  Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Honda
17 sweden  Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari
18 16  monaco  Charles Leclerc  Sauber Ferrari
19 35  russia  Sergey Sirotkin  Williams Mercedes
20 10  france  Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso Honda
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