The Finn’s season got off to a pretty miserable start when he crashed his Mercedes W09 in a big way during qualifying, with Toto Wolff saying the impact measured 27G. Bottas was fine, but in his own words he was “pushing too hard”.
The crash happened right at the start of Q3 before he’d even set a time, meaning he was set to start down in 10th. Unsurprisingly, given the size of the impact, he’s had to take on a new gearbox, meaning a five-place penalty and a starting position of 15th, promoting Fernando Alonso into the top 10 as a result.
Bottas could be considered lucky not to be starting further down. Hefty impacts like his can often cause damage to the chassis and other components which would require him to start from the pit lane. Although, given the tendency for contact in the middle of the pack, maybe he’d prefer that option to starting from 15th…
Providing he makes it through the first corner it should be exciting watching him race back through the field, even considering how tough it is to pass at Albert Park. How high up the order can he get?