Australian GP: Power unit changes put Bottas on new penalty limit

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

Australian GP: Power unit changes put Bottas on new penalty limit

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 the race.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Car
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari
6 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault
12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes
13 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes
14 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes
15 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
16 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari
18 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari
19 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes
20 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda

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Mercedes' Wolff reassures Bottas after Australian GP qualifying crash

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