Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Albert Park, 2015

Back injury puts Bottas in doubt for race

2015 Australian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Albert Park, 2015Valtteri Bottas could miss the first race of the season after being taken to hospital to have a back injury examined after qualifying.

Bottas complained of back pains during the session but was able to qualifying in sixth place. He has been taken to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital for checks as a precaution.

“Unfortunately towards the end of Q2 I started to feel a pain in my back,” said Bottas after qualifying.

“Under the circumstances I’m happy with sixth place, but as Felipe proved, this is not a true indication of our pace.

“Given the back complaint I had during the session, the team and I felt it sensible to get me checked out at the local hospital and we await their diagnosis.”

2015 Australian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Back injury puts Bottas in doubt for race”

  1. Sounds like we could be down to 15 runners soon after the start at this rate.. surprised it was hurting him before that moment out of the last corner on his final Q lap.

    1. I think the quali session was better than last year simply because the marussias and caterhams were not ruining it for everybody else. It was kinda exciting to see who drops in q1 when it was down to true pace instead of some 2nd grade car getting in the way and causing lost lap for the decent teams. Also good thing marussia did not run and cause yellows and red flags.

  2. nononono I have him 4th in my prediction. //cynics over

    ahh, not good, get well Valterri!

    1. hahahaha. My first thought too. Had him 4th aswell.

      Get well soon Valteri!!

  3. Note that if Bottas is unable to race Williams can only replace him if stewards agree it is a case of “force majeure”:

    19.1 a) During a season each team will be permitted to use four drivers. Changes may be made at any time before the start of the qualifying practice session provided any change proposed after 16.00 on the day of scrutineering receives the consent of the stewards.

    Additional changes for reasons of force majeure will be considered separately.

    1. If that is the case – would it between Lynn and Wolf? Wolf is the official “test” driver, while Alex is the official “development” driver.

      1. To be honest, I couldn’t care less about Wolff racing tomorrow. A women starting a race would be good for the sport, but we know she’s super slow already.

        Lynn would be interesting, I rate him higher than Sainz.

        1. Shame – she could have given the McLarens a race.

        2. she is not super slow, geez.

          1. Her past race results do show infact that she is slow.

          2. Indeed. She’s slow not super slow. Super slow is the Lotus chick.

    2. Actually, according to an email I just received from Williams they can’t replace Bottas under the regulations.

      1. I would’ve loved to see Wolf get a chance. Rather see Bottas though…

        1. I feel like an official regulation governing who can drive should be ‘has won at least a single car race’.

      2. Not even with some exception?

        I hope Valtteri will be OK!

      3. If any driver other than the 18 who have a place on the grid already had been in practice, things would have been different.

        It’s a shame Manor couldn’t have done at least one lap (or Giedo didn’t get to do any running during that Sauber dispute), as this would have given Williams up to 3 drivers to choose from, despite not running any of their in-house reserves themselves. This being the first race of the season, no team wants to run substitutes because they need to get the race drivers every advantage they can.

      4. I assume this is the same reason Toyota couldn’t replace Glock with Kobayashi we he was injured in qualifying at Suzuka.

        1. Although he even did FP1 back then, didn’t he?

          1. Yes but I seem to recall that you need at least one Saturday session to participate in the race.

      5. Then there is no reason what so ever to have a “reserve” driver.r

        1. Isn’t McLaren in that situation now? Alonso got hurt, so they brought in the reserve driver?

    3. @keithcollantine that indicates only a fifth driver during the season. Domeone can only participate in a race if he or she completed at least one session, or maybe even one Saturday session.

  4. @keithcollantine, hey i got an idea. Can you also analyse the data people input for the prediction championship and give us interesting titbits after the race? Eg- how many people predicted the correct 5 drivers, how many posted bottas in their top 5, the average of everybody’s lap times, and the outliers- like somebody posting Alonso in their top 5 for australia.

    1. That would be interesting, especially the average predicted laptime.

    2. Luckily for me in prediction… I was about to put BOT in my top 5 but wasn’t feeling so, and so I went for the dark horse GRO (after both Mercs & both Ferraris). I didn’t go for either Williams, or RBR although I’ll prob’ly be proven wrong. As much as I like both Finns driving [BOT as well], this time I followed my instincts. C’mon GRO !

      Pssst, if Nico, Kimi & Vettel in any order are on podium & Ham out, It’ll be 1.5 german & 1.5 Finn on podium. So they should play both NAnthem :) LOL!

  5. I now feel really bad for having the bad feeling about Bottas being the first driver to be substituted (though of course this wouldn’t be a substitution so much as plain missing the race)…

  6. How about they put Van Der Garde in there..I hear he’s been promised a drive this weekend..oh wait :P

    In all seriousness, I hope he’s better in time, back pain at the best of times is an issue. Its a shame they can’t replace him if he can’t drive. Would have been amazing to see Susie Wolf with a chance, afterall she has a superlicence and miles on the clock in that car.

  7. Might just as well be a cautionary measure, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I guess right now we got little choice but wait for updates.

  8. More back problems in F1. It’s about time FIA did something about this issue, it’s probably the biggest single injury risk now.

    1. I haven’t run numbers regarding the stresses drivers have to withstand, but I think the Hans system creates more forces on the lower back which can result in back pain in case the sit was not poperly fitted or in events that have more energy, this happens because the Hans system doesn’t allow the backbone to flex as much as before and the energy is not dissipated.

      Every device has its pros and cons, of course it is better to have drivers that ocasionally have back pains, than drivers with broken necks and heads hitting steering weels.

      I remember that Barrichello didn’t like to use it, the reason why I don’t know at the moment

      1. @johnmilk @weeniebeenie I can see how HANS transfers bending moment into the torso. But a lot of the injuries are from vertical accelerations, and happen because the seat is moulded to a bent-over spine in which the front facets of the vertebrae are nearly touching. The seat is on the floor with little to no absorption so every bump is transferred directly to the spine, which has no scope for compression from the discs.

        So discs easily herniate rearwards and discs easily chip bits off each other.

        It would be an easy fix: better posture consuming more space, and some suspension under the seat. Teams won’t do it without legislation, of course.

        1. Don’t know if this is the case. A hernia is a pretty serious injury, if an F1 driver gets one he is probably going to have a bad time (i’m wondering what injury Kimi had), a recurrent hernia can also lead to a disc degeneration. Discs are soft tissue so they may lose their water content and than vertabrae can start to chip fragments from each other, this will lead to a intervertebral disc replacement, if an F1 driver goes through this I am almost certain that the career is over

          Back pains and backbone injuries may occur just by being in the same position, so I can easily imagine a person injury is back just for braking.

          I do agree with you on the solution

    2. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      14th March 2015, 15:54

      What would you suggest they do?

      1. better sits, forget a little about weight saving, a bit more confort basicly. I know they are custom made, but it is hard to keep the same position during the race specially when you are subjected to great amount of forces. Or a dynamic system triggered by a g forces sensor for example

  9. He looked like he was walking a little slow when he got out of the car after Q3. If he was already having back problems, hitting that divot on the last turn probably aggravated it.

  10. but if can replace him, who will be? Suzi?

  11. What’s the latest on Backgate?
    Is no news good news?

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