Mercedes assessing Valtteri Bottas' PU amid risk of Abu Dhabi grid drop

Valtteri Bottas in action in Brazil

Mercedes is assessing the extent of the damage that Valtteri Bottas’ power unit sustained in Brazil, with the Finn at risk of having to take a penalty in Abu Dhabi.

Bottas was chasing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for fourth at Interlagos but his W10 was suffering from an excessive rate of oil consumption, and he was eventually forced to stop.

It marked Mercedes’ first in-race technical failure since last year’s Austrian Grand Prix.

Should Mercedes determine that Bottas needs fresh power unit components then he will incur a grid penalty for next weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“We have a number of questions about Valtteri’s engine,” said Mercedes chief Andrew Shovlin during the manufacturer’s post-race video debrief.

“Well, before we could even see any smoke on the TV, we were monitoring the oil level and we could that see we were losing oil at a relatively slow rate and a rate that we thought might still make the end of the race.

“Now, when you started to see the smoke, the rate at which the oil was being consumed increased and eventually the car actually switched itself off.

“This is a protection mechanism for the Power Unit. It saw low pressure and then it switched itself off to avoid further damage.

“Now, that Power Unit has come back to Brixworth in the UK, they are going to be looking at it today [Wednesday] and into the night and they will be making an assessment of whether there has actually been any damage and whether or not we will need to take a penalty with Valtteri in Abu Dhabi.”

Should Mercedes have to incur a penalty with Bottas then it would leave Haas as the only team not to breach its 2019 allocation of power units.