Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes engine failure at Qatar GP worrying signs for Hamilton

Unlucky is a word that comes to mind when one thinks of Valtteri Bottas’ spell at Mercedes. The Finnish driver has already agreed on a move that will see him move to Alfa Romeo in 2022, but he would’ve still liked to finish his Mercedes tenure on the right note.

Bottas currently sits third on the drivers’ standings, and that is a reasonable job done.

What has helped his case is the fact that he has been challenging right at the top during qualifying. In fact, he has as many poles as Lewis Hamilton this year.

Punctures, crashes, mix-ups with his engineer are just some of the many things that have halted his progress this season. It has, perhaps, marred what could have potentially been a phenomenal campaign.

But that almost is the gut word with Bottas and may forever be for the entirety of his career.

Why was Bottas forced to retire early?

Bottas retired early from the last race and while there was much speculation as to why he was forced into making such a decision, the news has now been revealed.

Valtteri Bottas. Credits:

According to Motorsport, there was a fuel system problem in Bottas’ engine on Sunday. It didn’t persist throughout the race. It was present during the first few laps and then made Mercedes engineers take attention once more past the halfway stage.

It led them to inform Bottas to retire from the race. They agreed to replace the misfunctioning fuel pump in the break before the next race.

For those thinking that this would lead to a penalty for the Austrian outfit, there is bad news. Any changes made to this part of the engine is allowed without incurring any penalty.

What is the situation at the top of the standings?

Two positive outings are all that separate Mercedes from its eighth-straight constructors’ title. To make sure that there are no last-minute slip-ups, the team needs to ensure that Bottas’ engine is primed and running to its full potential.

To put things into perspective, Mercedes only leads Red Bull by 5 points in the constructors’ standings.

Things have really gone up a notch this season as far as the competitiveness is at the top!

Recently, though, Mercedes seems to have unlocked its full potential. Its engine has also got cleared after passing an FIA test.

On a personal note, Bottas will want to ensure that he does stick onto his third position. he enjoys a 13-point advantage over Perez to find himself in third position. Max Verstappen, meanwhile, leads Lewis Hamilton by 8 points as we head towards the final two races of a breathtaking season.

Read more: Why did Michael Schumacher force an F1 return even though his manager called it the ‘stupidest’ thing to do?

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