Mercedes forced to break overnight curfew

motorsport.com

Mercedes was forced to break an overnight curfew to fix an electrical problem on the power unit of Valtteri Bottas’s car. While doing their job, they noticed a water leak that led to an engine change, the Formula One champions said at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday.




In the Russian Grand Prix, Bottas had notched his first win to add a touch of drama to the title race, with many believing that he is now also a contender in a three-way tussle at the top.

“In putting the engine back together, we have discovered a small water leak,” a team spokesman said, adding that the engine had been replaced with the one used at the previous four rounds of the season.

“We hope that he will be able to run at some point in third practice — the boys are working flat out on it to make that possible,” he added.

The removed power unit will have the leak fixed and will be used at future races and as a spare.

Teams are not allowed to work on cars overnight for an eight-hour period, with two exceptions allowed per season.

The governing FIA said Mercedes would not face any sanction since Friday night’s breach was their first of the campaign.




Mercedes dominated Friday’s free practice with triple champion Lewis Hamilton fastest in both sessions ahead of Bottas.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel leads the championship, 13 points clear of Hamilton.

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