Valtteri Bottas gets engine penalty, still expects “strong points”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas qualified on pole for the Sprint Race, but will start Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix from the back of the grid due to a tactical engine change.

Ahead of the Italian Grand Prix Mercedes decided to provide Valtteri Bottas with a new engine, turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K.

This means he will receive a grid penalty and start Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix from last place, because he has exceeded the number of engines that are allowed in a single season.

However, after he qualified in P1, he will still start Saturday’s Sprint Race from P1. The Finn believes with the pace he has he can fight for points even on Sunday.

“I think sprint obviously, there’s a possibility to get a few points, so of course, try to get the maximum points tomorrow that we can,” the Finn said after Qualifying.

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“Then it’s another fight on Sunday. Now I’ll just focus first on tomorrow, and try to deal with it on Sunday.

“Having a look at the pace we have here, I’m sure we can still get some strong points on Sunday.”

After snatching pole in the final moments of Q3, Bottas was pleased with his lap.

“It felt nice and I enjoyed the last lap, it was a beautiful lap and I really had fun. The car has been really good this weekend, and we saw that there’s a bit of a gap to Red Bull as well.

“So it’s been maybe stronger than we expected so far this weekend, and hopefully it will be the same in the race,” concluded Bottas.

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