Mercedes has changed the control electronics on the power unit of both its Formula 1 cars in response to Valtteri Bottas’ part failure at the Eifel Grand Prix.
Bottas was forced to retire from the race at the Nurburgring two weeks ago after suffering a loss of power due to an issue on his power unit.
Mercedes initially believed the fault was related to the MGU-H, but confirmed earlier this week that it had defined the issue as being electrical. Mercedes confirmed ahead of Friday’s practice running for the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao that the failure had been further diagnosed within the control electronics on Bottas’ PU.
As a result, both of its cars will take a new control electronics for this weekend’s running in Portugal.
“Valtteri’s failure in Germany was located to a failed electrical component in the control electronics,” a Mercedes spokesperson confirmed on Thursday evening. “Both he and Lewis will take new modules this weekend, and we have made calibration changes, too, in order to avoid a repeat.
“It’s the second module for both drivers, so within the permitted allocation.”
As it is only the second control electronics component used by both drivers this season, there will be no grid penalty for the change as they are under the season limit. However, it is not yet confirmed if the issue will force a replacement of the control electronics on all of the Mercedes power units throughout the F1 grid. Racing Point and Williams are also powered by Mercedes.
Racing Point drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll are both already on their season limit of two control electronics, as is Williams’ Nicholas Latifi. It means that any new part for these three drivers would trigger a grid penalty.
The setback for Bottas at the Nurburgring dealt yet another blow to his fading F1 title hopes as team-mate Hamilton scooped up his 91st grand prix victory.
The retirement caused Bottas’ deficit to Hamilton to grow to 69 points with six races remaining in the season, prompting the Finn to concede he needs a “miracle” to turn things around.
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