Bottas being checked in hospital; status TBD for Sunday


Williams’ Valtteri Bottas qualified sixth for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, but whether he’ll actually start there remains to be seen.

The Finn was hospitalized after qualifying for a precautionary check, complaining of back pain.

He’ll rest in Alfred Hospital overnight before any decision is made; however, test driver Susie Wolff would be unable to fill in and make her Grand Prix debut as she has not participated in any official sessions this weekend.

Still, Bottas was more disappointed in his own qualifying effort than his back, though.

“Unfortunately towards the end of Q2 I started to feel a pain in my back,” Bottas said. “Under the circumstances I’m happy with sixth place, but as Felipe proved (Massa qualified third), 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.”

A year ago Bottas was one of the revelations in Melbourne, with two stunning drives through the field to a then-career best fifth place finish.

So whether he’ll have the chance to match or exceed it remains to be seen.

You can watch the Australian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 12:30a ET tomorrow.