MGU-K failure hampers Bottas Monaco as F1 practice woes continue

A run of Friday bad luck for Valtteri Bottas continued at Formula 1's Monaco GP as the Alfa Romeo driver lost a practice session for the fourth consecutive race weekend.

MGU-K failure hampers Bottas Monaco as F1 practice woes continue

Bottas suffered a Ferrari MGU-K failure on his very first lap in FP1, before he had set a time.

He managed to the car back to the pits, but the MGU-K issue meant that he broke the speed limit by 21.9km/h as he came in, earning himself a €1000 fine.

He was forced to sit out the rest of the FP1 session before finally getting some laps in FP2 after his team changed both the MGU-K and the gearbox.

Mick Schumacher experienced a similar issue with his Ferrari-powered Haas in FP1 and made the same changes.

The nightmare run of problems for Bottas began at Imola, where he suffered a broken exhaust and subsequent fire in Friday qualifying. He thus had to miss Saturday's FP2 session while repairs were undertaken.

In Miami, he had a huge crash in FP1, and missed the later FP2 session, while in Barcelona he had an engine failure after just one flying lap in FP2.

Bottas joked to team boss Fred Vasseur that he might as well only turn up on Friday night for the next race on Baku.

"I told Fred already that for Baku I should maybe come on Friday night," he said when asked by Autosport about his ongoing misfortune.

"I mean, it's unlucky. And another completely different issue, the MGU-K.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42 talks to the press

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42 talks to the press

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

"I think the same issue in the same session happened to Mick, but I don't think there were any in FP2. I'm sure they're on it.

"I don't know the cause, not much we could do.

"I don't think we can afford that many issues any more and it's still a long, long season to go. So let's see."

Regarding his pit speeding penalty, he said: "I got a speeding fine because the MGU-K was still on. I was on the limiter, but I couldn't go slower. A bit of a strange one!"

Bottas admitted that Monaco was the one place where no driver can afford to miss a session.

"Definitely you need every lap," he said. "It took took a while in FP2 to get used to it, and I definitely was getting more and more comfortable each lap.

"And also with the traffic here, it's actually not that many clean laps that you get before the qualifying. So hopefully a clean FP3."

After his disrupted day, Bottas was only 13th in FP2 at a track that was expected to favour Alfa Romeo. However he is hopeful that he can make Q3 on Saturday.

"Should be a top 10 car, I see no reason why not," he said. "I definitely need to find more from my side, but also set-up wise need to see.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

"I mean, the difference to previous years is that the ride is much more harsh, like you feel the cambers and off-cambers on the track.

"It's quite bouncy this year, it's definitely a bit harder than previous years.

"It's not too bad, but also from my side it was the first session of the weekend, so definitely was taking step-by-step, and I'm sure there's more from my side and the car side to come.

"So I need to have a look if we can make the car a bit more comfortable. We can see what are the options, how we can find more performance.

"Obviously there's multiple things in the car we can change, so we'll have a look at that."

Bottas's team-mate Guanyu Zhou had a lucky escape when he had a brake failure heading down from the tunnel into the chicane towards the end of FP1.

He managed to avoid an accident, but missed the start of FP2 while the brakes were fixed.

"We had some brake failure at the end of FP1, which was scary," Zhou told Autosport.

"It was just after the tunnel, so I was quite lucky. That's why we appeared delayed [in FP2].

"Everything was fixed, and that session was quite smooth."

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