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Bottas already on the brink of an engine penalty

Valtteri Bottas is starting the season with an engine grid penalty looming, after Alfa Romeo were forced to change parts on his engine.

Valtteri Bottas is already onto a last permitted engine component on his Alfa Romeo, after a technical issue struck his car in Bahrain on Friday morning. Bottas had only just emerged onto the Bahrain International Circuit at the beginning of first practice when he radioed in to report a misfire. Returning to the pits, he missed most of the session before coming out again in the final 10 minutes. However, the issue hadn't been fully rectified and he was promptly back in the garage, finishing without a lap time on the board. At the conclusion of the day, the FIA revealed that Alfa Romeo had changed out the Control Electronics components on Bottas' Ferrari engine. Moving onto his second component for 2022, the Sporting Regulations only permit two such parts to be used over the course of a season. As a result, Bottas is already facing a potential grid penalty on the next occasion he requires a new Control Electronics. If and when he needs it, he will take a 10-place grid penalty. "I think they located the issue – some electrical issues," Bottas told media, including RacingNews365.com , when asked about his concerns for the remainder of the weekend. "It shouldn't happen again, but it's not the first issue we had, so we need to keep an eye on every single thing to make sure that nothing happens."

Bottas eager to see where Alfa Romeo fit in the pecking order

Bottas responded to the disappointing morning by heading out in the evening session and popping his Alfa Romeo into sixth place, with a best time just a second away from the benchmark set by Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Having managed to get his weekend back on the right path, the Finn said he was feeling positive after the day. "The morning was disappointing, but everyone did a good job finding the issue and getting it fixed for FP2, because [that] was [the] important session, and we got plenty of laps in," he said. "[It's a] positive feeling. For sure, [there are] still things to improve, but [it's] not bad. "It's always tricky to say from lap times, but we can see that we're not too far off, so that's a good sign. "We still need to try when it's full power but, so far, it's been really nice to drive, so no issues from that side. "We'll see once everyone turns up [their engines for qualifying] where we actually are."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix