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Bottas to start Belgian Grand Prix from back of the grid

Belgian Grand Prix – Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas will start the Spa race from the back of the grid.

Mercedes has confirmed that they, along with their customer teams Williams & the newly renamed Force India, will take on new power unit elements for the Belgian race weekend, all of which will be a third-specification unit of the season. This move will put Bottas over his season-long allocation.

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton will only take on a new internal combustion engine, turbo charger and MGU-H.

Ferrari is also introducing a power unit upgrade but can do so without penalty. Kimi Raikkonen, having run the original spec engine all season, will jump straight up to the Spec C power unit. A failure earlier in the season put him out of sync in the power unit cycle.

With Spa and the following round at Monza the two most power-sensitive circuits on the F1 calendar, this weekend is considered the best to introduce any new updates.

Their rivals Red Bull have a fuel update from ExxonMobil reportedly worth 0.15 seconds per lap.

Nico Hulkenberg will also start the race from the back of the grid after getting a completely new power unit in the back of his Renault.

Renault said after the previous round in Hungary that it would likely need to replace Hulkenberg’s unit after a terminal failure in Austria put him out of sync with team-mate Carlos Sainz. It is not known yet which elements he will change, but it is expected to be enough for a back of the grid start.

He will be upgrading to the Spec B engine for the first time this season.


Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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