Valtteri Bottas to start at back of Abu Dhabi grid

Bottas
Bottas has seven wins from 139 Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the back of the grid because of an engine-related penalty.

The Finn will have a new engine for the 2019 finale after an oil leak brought an early end to his race in Brazil.

Mercedes said his car would have a new internal combustion engine, turbo and MGU-H, the part of the hybrid system that recovers energy from the turbo.

That takes him over the permitted number of engine parts for a season.

The 30-year-old, who announced on Thursday that he had separated from his wife "because of the challenges of my career", faces a penalty amounting to 20 places on the grid - anything more than 15 and the regulations dictate a start from the back.

Elsewhere, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has been excused his media duties at Yas Marina after staying in Europe for an extra day because his wife Hannah has given birth to their third child.

Sebastian Vettel
Vettel (right) already has two daughters Emilie and Mathilda

The German four-time champion had been due to attend the official news conference alongside team-mate Charles Leclerc, where both had been expected to address the fall-out from their crash at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Both have been spoken to by team boss Mattia Binotto in the days between the two races and their responsibilities to Ferrari made clear.

Binotto described the crash as "not acceptable" in a social media fans Q&A this week.

He said the drivers "know how to move forward".

Binotto has not yet expanded on exactly what instructions have been given to the drivers about on-track conduct following the incident.

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