Bottas gets new engine in Russia, Hamilton still on the old one

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Mercedes will be swapping Valtteri Bottas’ engine for the Russian Grand Prix, which means the Finn will take a grid penalty and start the race from P17.

While there was speculation that Lewis Hamilton might be getting a new engine at the Russian Grand Prix to capitalise on Max Verstappen starting from the back of the grid, Mercedes surprisingly decided to swap Valtteri Bottas’ engine instead.

This means the Finn will most likely start from P17, three places ahead of Verstappen (because Nicholas Latifi and Charles Leclerc both have engine penalties).

Bottas received new power unit elements at Monza too, but this change gives him extra elements with which he can reach the end of the season.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff announced that the team was thinking about swapping Bottas’ unit.

“For Valtteri, we are still thinking about possible strategic decisions to be taken in the next hour or two on what the best and quickest race strategy could be for him,” the Austrian said.

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The question now remains on if and when Lewis Hamilton will take on a new engine and serve the related grid penalty.

“In terms of engines, I have absolutely no idea,” Lewis said after qualifying.

“Of course I’ve lost one engine, Valtteri’s had several. And there’s been others that Mercedes have seen up and down the paddock.

“So right now my I’m trying to treat my engines, the ones that we put in, with the absolute care when I’m driving, in terms of how much I’m gassing it, how much I’m revving the thing, revving the nuts off it, just really trying to minimise the laps that I do.

“But who knows? I can’t control the future,” Lewis concluded.

Asked about it yesterday, Wolff didn’t want to say anything conclusive.

“I don’t want to comment on that at this point. I have never lied to you, and I will not do it now,” the Austrian smiled.

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