Valtteri Bottas has suffered a huge blow to his 2020 Formula 1 title hopes, after engine issues forced him to retire from the Eifel Grand Prix.

Bottas had beaten Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to pole position and led the opening exchanges of F1’s first race at the Nurburgring in seven years.

Having initially lost the lead at Turn 1 at the start, Bottas fought back to reclaim the position from Hamilton with a dive down the inside of Turn 2.

Bottas looked comfortable in the opening stint until he suffered a big lockup and ran wide into Turn 1, opening the door for Hamilton to sweep around the outside of the next corner and snatch the lead.

Bottas, who was looking to claim back-to-back race victories for the first time in his F1 career, then reported he had lost power on Lap 17th, as he started dropping down the order.

He fell to seventh before Mercedes called Bottas back into the pits to retire from the race two laps later.

Mercedes introduced a brand new engine for both drivers this weekend and suspects Bottas’ problem related to his MGU-H.

Bottas’ retirement marks a huge dent to his championship chances, having already been 44 points behind Hamilton heading into the weekend.

With Hamilton currently leading from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Bottas is set to lose a minimum of 25 points to his teammate with six races to go in the 2020 season.

 

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