Mercedes hopes Bottas will avoid Portimão grid penalty
Mercedes says it has “a lot of checks to do” but remains hopeful that Valtteri Bottas will be spared a grid penalty at the upcoming Portuguese GP following an MGU-H failure in Germany.
In last weekend’s Eifel GP, shortly after the Virtual Safety Car restart, Bottas radioed in to report a sudden loss of engine power.
The Finn was brought in and Mercedes subsequently retired the #77 Mercedes after diagnosing an MGU-H issue. The DNF was a costly set-back for Bottas who now trails teammate Lewis Hamilton by 69 points in the drivers’ standings.
Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles says the team’s swift decision to call in Bottas as soon as the problem was detected will have hopefully prevented any terminal damage to the Finn’s MGU-H element.
“At the end of the VSC period, Valtteri complained of a lack of power,” Vowles explained in the team’s Eifel GP debrief on YouTube.
“We could see on the data that the MGU-H, the hybrid element of the car that produces electrical energy, but also turbo control, wasn’t working correctly.
“We tried a few switch changes with Valtteri which may bring these systems back, so through the steering wheel he could put a default code in that may bring back parts of the hybrid system.”
Read also – Bottas: Eifel GP win possible despite Turn 1 lock-up
Despite the team’s efforts and Bottas’ execution of the instructions, the Mercedes engine’s normal power output could not be restored.
“It was clear though that it had failed completely even after the switch changes and as a result we boxed the car and stopped it.
“The reason why we did that is we felt that the system failure wasn’t hardware but actually electronic and the sooner you stop it the less damage you are going to do to any of the systems and the more chance that we will take no penalties with Valtteri as a result.
“We’ve got a lot of checks to do and we will check the systems in Portimao but hopefully no further penalties will come as a result of this failure.”
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