Bottas working on fitness ahead of Malaysian Grand Prix return

by Paul Hensby

Valtteri Bottas is working hard on his fitness ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix after the back problems that affected him during qualifying in Australia that saw him forced to miss the race.

FIA medical delegate Jean-Charles Piette forbade the Williams Martini Racing driver to race at Albert Park, and Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams revealed the team are doing everything they can to get Bottas ready to return at Sepang.

“We are fully supportive of Valtteri and his determination to return to the cockpit in Malaysia,” said Williams to Autosport. “He is receiving the best possible care and is doing everything he can to be fully fit again.

“We are committed to doing what we can to help the process, as of course we really want to see him back racing again.

“As he was deemed unfit to race by the FIA in Australia he will need to receive final approval by the FIA medical team in Malaysia on Thursday.

“Valtteri flew on to Indonesia where he had always planned to be ahead of the Malaysian GP to help acclimatise to the hot and humid conditions whilst also adjusting to the timezone ahead of the race.

“He has a leading physiotherapist with him who is working with Valtteri and his trainer to make sure he gets the best treatment possible.”

Bottas will need to be granted permission to race by the FIA medical team, and will be assessed the Thursday before the Malaysian Grand Prix. Should the Finn not be fit enough to return, the team have Susie Wolff and reigning GP3 Series champion Alex Lynn on their books to replace him, although they may seek a replacement from elsewhere.

“There are a variety of options available to us, which we are evaluating should we need a reserve driver,” said Williams.

“However, at this point we are committed to seeing Valtteri back in the car and therefore we would not want to speculate or comment on any alternative.”

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