'SUFFERING WITH HIS BACK' Williams' Valtteri Bottas could miss the season-opening 2015 Australian GP. Image: AP / Rob Griffith
MELBOURNE, Australia - Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was taken to hospital suffering from back pain after qualifying for the 2015 Australian GP on Saturday (March 14) and could be in doubt for the season-opening race.
Bottas, who qualified sixth at Albert Park, felt lower back pain during the session and was undergoing precautionary checks at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital, his Formula 1 team.
A spokeswoman said his condition would be assessed at the track before the Australian GP.
'WE DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS'
Team performance chief Rob Smedley said: "Valtteri was suffering with his back and lost a lot of time down at the last corner, coming out.
"We don't know what it is. He just started complaining about it in the middle of the second qualifying, saying the small of his back was hurting.
"We had a look behind his seat and there was nothing in there. I don't know what's happened, whether he's jarred his back or something. So that's not going very well."
Bottas' team mate Felipe Massa qualified third behind world champion pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg.
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.