Valtteri Bottas is set to start this weekend’s 2019 Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the back of the grid after taking on a fresh engine.

The Finn retired from the Brazilian Grand Prix due to a problem with his power unit which developed late on in the Interlagos race.

Following an investigation into the issue, Mercedes has confirmed it will fit Bottas’ car with a new internal combustion engine, turbo and MGU-H for this weekend’s season finale, meaning he will be consigned to the back of the grid at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Speaking in a Twitter Q&A after the penultimate race of the year in Brazil, Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said: “When you started to see the smoke, the rate at which the oil was being consumed increased and eventually the car actually switched itself off.

"That power unit has come back to Brixworth, they are going to be looking at it and will be making an assessment of whether there has actually been any damage and whether or not we will need to take a penalty."

Bottas becomes the fifth Mercedes-powered driver to be hit with a grid penalty for changing engine components, leaving teammate and six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton as the sole driver not to have any issues this year.

Bottas has already sealed runner-up spot in the championship behind Hamilton to claim his best-ever result in F1, though his hopes of ending the year on a high by recording Mercedes’ 15th and his fifth victory of the campaign have taken a significant blow.

 

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