B at the opening race in Melbourne there is only one Williams on the starting grid. Valtteri Bottas has to skip the start of the season. The Finn got out of his car with pain in qualifying. When braking on a bump, he tore the outer disc tissue.
Because of the painful injury, the fourth place in the World Cup last year stayed at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne all night. But despite intensive treatment, the pilot has to pass. Bottas failed the FIA test. The world federation gave the 25-year-old no approval.
Bottas himself came to the track after the health check in the Medical Center and had already prepared for his assignment in the garage. He wanted to try it, he told Finnish reporters. But then the FIA doctors thwarted his plans. In her opinion, Bottas is not fit enough for an F1 race with the injury.
Only 17 cars on the grid
Williams can no longer nominate a replacement pilot. Only those who start in qualifying are allowed to drive in the race. That is why Felipe Massa will be the only driver in the team to hunt for points. The team has not yet been able to say when Bottas will be ready for action again.
Apparently it is a painful but not long-lasting injury. 'The team works together with Valtteri so that he receives the necessary treatments to be ready for the race in Malaysia again', explained the racing team.
After Fernando Alonso's cancellation due to injury, Valtteri Bottas is already the one second prominent failure for the Australian GP. Since the two Manor Marussia drivers cannot start either for technical reasons, there are only 17 cars on the grid.