July 6, 2018 / 10:04 AM / 11 days ago

Motor racing-Bottas takes a new Mercedes engine for British GP

SILVERSTONE, England, July 6 (Reuters) - Valtteri Bottas will have a new Mercedes engine in his car for this weekend’s British Grand Prix after problems in Austria last weekend, the Formula One champions said on Friday.

The Finn will not pick up any grid penalty, however, because he is still within his allocation of three power units for the season although the prospect of a drop later in the year has grown.

“This is a precaution after we suffered high temperatures on his second power unit from heat soak following the retirement in Austria,” a team spokesman said.

“It doesn’t mean power unit two is out of service, it will be used again and thoroughly checked in Germany (the race after Silverstone).”

Mercedes suffered a double retirement at Spielberg last weekend, with Bottas suffering an hydraulics issue and stopping suddenly by the side of the track while world champion Lewis Hamilton had a fuel pressure problem.

Team technical head James Allison said earlier in the week that the sudden retirement could have caused damage to the power unit.

“Every time the car stops in an uncontrolled way, where a failure happens and the system is then shut down in a manner that is unusual, the car can suffer all manner of unknown gremlins,” he said.

“We can’t be completely sure until we’ve done all the necessary checks to be certain that the bits of the car that are sealed, and which do attract sporting penalties, weren’t in any way affected.”

Mercedes have won the last five British Grands Prix, with Hamilton chasing his fifth in a row this weekend in front of his home fans.

The four times world champion, who has not had an engine change, is a point behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel after nine races.

Mercedes are 10 points behind Ferrari in the constructors’ standings.

While Hamilton has won three times this year, Bottas has yet to triumph but has finished second four times and started on pole position in Austria. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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