After Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas becomes the latest driver to start the Russian Grand Prix from the last position as now he too has opted for a power unit, which is deemed as a ‘tactical move’ by the reigning world champion, Mercedes. In simpler terms., The move is a tactical one from Mercedes as part of a bid to thwart Max Verstappen’s recovery bid from the very back of the grid for a complete change of engine components earlier in the weekend.
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff indicated after qualifying that Bottas could take a strategic engine penalty to try and compromise Verstappen’s charge through the field and therefore boost Hamilton’s title aspirations.
Toto Wolff on Valtteri Bottas’ Grid Penalty
“We are still thinking about possible strategic decisions to be taken in the next hour or so on what the best and quickest race strategy could be for him,” Toto Wolff said on Saturday in Sochi as quoted by Crash.Net.F1.
Mercedes say the decision gives Bottas another fresh engine in his pool for the remaining eight races of the year and feel it will have little impact on his own prospects for the race. Lewis Hamilton will start the Russian GP from fourth on the grid after an error-strewn qualifying blew his chances of claiming pole position.