Valtteri Bottas had to take a grid penalty for taking on his fourth power unit of the season at the Italian Grand Prix. However, to everyone’s surprise, just a race later he had to take on a fifth power unit and serve another grid penalty.
Bottas says this was done because there was a risk of not finishing the race on the previous unit.
“It was purely because we had to otherwise it was too big risk not to finish the race,” the Finn told The Race.
“We’ve had quite a few issues and it’s obviously becoming a bit of a problem. I think I have this one, then one very old one.”
Later team boss Toto Wolff confirmed Mercedes is reassessing their power units.
“Yes, at the moment we are reassessing the performance of the power units, because we have question marks and therefore haven’t decided which engines would go back into the pool,” the Austrian said.
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“We haven’t only made precautionary engine changes because we felt we want to stockpile, but also because we want to understand the engine’s performance, and that has given us some question marks.
“At the moment we just take one race weekend at a time and reassess the performance of the power units, and then take decisions.”
Lewis Hamilton is still on his third power unit, but it is expected that he will have to take on another one and serve an engine grid penalty before the end of the season.
For now Mercedes is undecided on “how to continue the season in terms of power units”.
“You need to have the right balance between making sure that you really sort out all the gremlins that you have in the power unit not only for this year but also for next year’s power unit.
“We are in a phase of assessment of how to continue the season in terms of power units,” concluded Wolff.