F1: Power unit change for Bottas ahead of qualifying
By Chris Medland | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent
Valtteri Bottas faces a race against time to be ready for qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix as Mercedes must change his power unit after FP3The Finn stopped on track with 15 minutes remaining in the final practice session with a suspected hydraulic issue (pictured), with the car not able to return to the garage until the end of running for work to start. That left Mercedes with just two hours to replace the power unit in order to be ready for the start of qualifying, which is at 1 p.m. local time.
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Bottas will revert to the power unit he used in Austin, meaning there is no grid penalty for the change as it is an engine already in the Mercedes pool.
Aside from the issue for Bottas, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff told Sky Sports the team is still not happy with its performance despite Lewis Hamilton ending up second quickest in FP3, just a quarter of a second off Max Verstappen having been over a second adrift on Friday.
“Drivers are not happy how the car is going — it’s sliding all over the place,” Wolff said. “We’ve clawed a bit back on the power unit but still there is a deficit so we are not in a happy place.”
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ABOUT CHRIS MEDLAND
While studying Sports Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, Chris managed to talk his way into working at the British Grand Prix in 2008 and was retained for three years before joining ESPN F1 as Assistant Editor. After three years at ESPN, a spell as F1 Editor at Crash Media Group was followed by the major task of launching F1i.com’s English-language website and running it as Editor. Present at every race since the start of 2014, he has continued building his freelance portfolio, working with international titles. As well as writing for RACER, he contributes to BBC 5Live and Sky Sports in the UK as well as working with titles in Japan and the Middle East.