Mercedes have a “lot of checks to do” but remain hopeful that Valtteri Bottas will avoid a grid penalty at the next race in Portugal following his retirement at Formula 1’s Eifel Grand Prix.

Bottas was forced to retire from Sunday’s race at the Nuburgring when Mercedes detected an issue with his MGU-H shortly after the Virtual Safety Car restart.

It marked a huge blow to Bottas’ title hopes, with Lewis Hamilton going on to claim his 91st career victory to further increase his championship lead over the Finn to 69 points with six races remaining.

Despite the failure, Mercedes is optimistic that stopping Bottas soon after the problem was discovered will limit the damage to the power unit and therefore not require a change and subsequent grid penalty.

“At the end of the VSC period Valtteri complained of a lack of power,” Mercedes motorsport strategy director James Vowles said in the team’s latest post-race debrief video.

“We could see on the data that the MGU-H, the hybrid element of the car that produces electrical energy, 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 could put a default code in that may bring back parts of the hybrid 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 reason why we did that is we felt that the system failure wasn’t hardware but actually electronic and the sooner you stop it the less damage you are 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 will check the systems in Portimao but hopefully no further penalties will come as a result of this failure.”

 

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