Valtteri Bottas says he is confident he will have no problems driving in the Malaysian Grand Prix having identified his seat position as the cause of his back injury.
Bottas was forced to sit out the first race of the season in Australia having spent Saturday night in hospital with back pain which had flared up during qualifying. Having passed the FIA fitness tests on Thursday at Sepang which will allow him to race this weekend, Bottas insists he has no concerns the problem will resurface when he drives again.
“It’s good, no pain, which is nice,” Bottas said. “At the end of last week I could do something without any pain, and during the weekend I could do swimming, cross training without any pain, so the recovery was really good. We’ve done everything we can in this short period of time, luckily there are two weeks, so I feel confident of getting back in the car.”
And the Finn says Williams has traced the problem back to his seat position, with the bumpy nature of the track in Melbourne leading to the injury.
“We’ve a really good idea – it’s the seat and pedal position, so the back is now in a more neutral position, less pressure on the discs. We are confident that should be it. There has also been a lot of work on the deep muscles in the lower back.”
However, Bottas admits he was surprised to have the problem in Australia, with no signs that his seat position wasn’t right.
“I’ve never had any problems before with the lower back. That kind of thing normally takes a bit of time to build up. But there was no warning, it just went suddenly.”
Adrian Sutil has been named as Williams’ new reserve driver and will replace Bottas if required.
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