Back pain puts Bottas in doubt

Published: Saturday 14th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Valtteri Bottas could sit out the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after being treated for back pain following qualifying.

Bottas, who qualified sixth at Melbourne’s Albert Park, will rest overnight after undergoing tests and scans at the circuit medical centre before being taken to nearby Alfred Hospital.

If the Finn is declared unfit to drive Williams will only run one car after Felipe Massa claimed third behind a Mercedes front-row lock-out spearheaded by reigning champion Lewis Hamilton.

Williams’ head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley said: “He felt pain under braking at the end of his second attempt in qualifying two, and then it kind of escalated from there through the third qualifying.

“I think he was in a great deal of pain then, but he still managed to be three-tenths (of a second) off the little group in front – the two Ferraris and Felipe – so he did a really good job.

“He was checked out at the medical centre and he has gone to hospital for further checks, and that’s all we know at the moment. The update will be tomorrow.

“But he will go back to his hotel and he will rest – he’s not being kept in (at the hospital) overnight – and he’ll come back in tomorrow and be checked over.”

Smedley was unable to shed any light on whether Bottas could finish the grand prix even if he is passed fit to race.

“It’s not for me to say to be honest. That’s for the medical people to say,” added Smedley.

“He has to go through the correct checks this evening and tomorrow, have all the correct medical care and treatment, and then time will tell. We’ll know from that point on.”

Published: Saturday 14th March 2015 by The News Editor

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