Valtteri Bottas will avoid a grid penalty at this weekend’s Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix following his power unit failure in Germany, Mercedes has confirmed.

Bottas was forced to retire from the Nurburgring race after Mercedes discovered a problem which it initially suspected was related to the MGU-H.

Mercedes opted to retire the car, fearing that keeping Bottas out could result in serious damage to his engine and a change that would incur a grid penalty.

Team principal Toto Wolff said the decision to stop Bottas’ car “prevented mechanical damage to his power unit”, revealing Mercedes believed the problem to be with the Control Electronics.

On Thursday, Mercedes confirmed that to be the case. The team has fitted the cars of Bottas and teammate Lewis Hamilton with new CE components for this weekend and have also made calibration changes in a bid to avoid a repeat of the issue.

It is the second module change for both drivers and within the permitted allocation, meaning no grid penalties will be triggered.

The news is a boost to Mercedes’ slim hopes of securing a record seventh straight constructors’ title, which it will clinch if it ends the weekend with a 220-point advantage over nearest rivals Red Bull.

“Of course it has been a strong year again, and as a driver you’re always a proud team member,” Bottas said of the prospect of achieving the feat with five races to spare.

“It’s incredible what the team is doing and everyone is still pushing so hard, always keep raising the bar and that’s bringing success.

“Of course nothing has been won yet and there’s no point, really, of thinking too much about it even if there’s a slim chance, this weekend, that we can get it.

“But it’s not the main thing in our mind, we’re here to win the race, to do our best, but I hope we’ll get it eventually this year.”

 

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