Mercedes to evaulate Bottas’ power unit at Portimao

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Mercedes is hopeful that the technical problems that forced Valtteri Bottas to retire from the race action at the Eifel Grand Prix could be fixed and will not require the introduction of a new power unit.

Starting from the pole position at the Nürburgring, Valtteri Bottas lost the lead after outbraking himself into Turn 1 which gave a perfect opportunity to his teammate Lewis Hamilton to take over the lead. Things then got even worse for the 9-time race winner following his pit stop when his power unit started to develop technical issues.

The Finn reported a loss of power on Lap 18 of 60 at the Eifel Grand Prix, and Mercedes was quick to ask Bottas to retire his car to try andy preserve the power unit for the remainder of the season.

Mercedes’ Chief Strategist James Vowles confirmed that the issue was down to the MGU-H element of the power unit which the team was unable to fix during the race by changing the settings.

“We could see on the data that the MGU-H, the hybrid element that produces electricity but also turbo control, wasn’t working correctly. We tried a few switch changes with Valtteri which may bring these systems back – so through the steering wheel, he can put a default code in which may bring back parts of the system. It was clear, though, that it had failed completely, even after the switch changes, and as a result, we boxed the car and stopped it.”

The problem came at a particularly inconvenient time as the power unit in question was a fresh one. The Anglo-German squad introduced fresh internal combustion engine, turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K into the car of Valtteri Bottas and the problem has now left the team to find out whether the brand-new parts could be used in the remaining events of the 17-race 2020 season.

“The reason why we did that is we felt the system failure wasn’t hardware but actually electronic, and the sooner you stop it, the less damage you’re going to do to any of the systems, and the more chance that we will take no penalties with Valtteri as a result. We’ve got a lot of checks to do and we’ll check the systems in Portimao. But hopefully no further penalties will come as a result of this failure,” concluded Vowles.