Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was forced out of the Eifel Grand Prix after just 18 laps with a power unit issue – a problem Mercedes have subsequently confirmed was with the MGU-H system on his W11. But despite the Finn’s retirement at the Nurburgring, the team are hoping that they will be able to avoid any power unit-related grid penalties for Bottas in the remaining six races of the season.
Polesitter Bottas reported a loss of power on Lap 18 of 60 at the Nurburgring, with Mercedes opting to retire him soon after to preserve the power unit. “It’s important to understand what actually happened,” said Team Principal Toto Wolff in the aftermath of the race. “We introduced new power units this weekend and there’s still six races to go, so we need to get on top of the problem.”
And speaking a few days after the Grand Prix, Mercedes’ Chief Strategist James Vowles confirmed that Bottas had suffered an MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit – Hybrid) failure – but revealed the team’s hopes that they would be able to make it through to the end of the season without taking any engine penalties.
“We could see on the data that the MGU-H, the hybrid element that produces electricity but also turbo control, wasn’t working correctly,” said Vowles, speaking on Mercedes’ own YouTube