Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Albert Park, 2015

Bottas expects Malaysia return

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Albert Park, 2015Valtteri Bottas is hopeful he will be able to return to action this weekend after missing the first race of the season due to a back injury.

“After such a frustrating Sunday in Australia, I have taken the necessary measures to make sure I arrive in Malaysia fit to race and ready to bring the results home,” said Bottas.

The Williams driver will undergo an inspection by the FIA on Thursday to judge whether he is able to participate in the weekend, as Fernando Alonso also will.

Williams expect their car will perform better at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix having missed out on a podium finish in Australia. Felipe Massa qualified third at Melbourne but slipped to fourth place behind Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari at the chequered flag.

“As it is a purpose built circuit we should be able to see more of the strengths of the FW37 and it should suit us a bit better,” said head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley.

“We have been working hard on all areas of performance and to close up any margins we had in Australia,” he added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Bottas expects Malaysia return”

  1. I also expect BOT return. If the information given is true…he was OK in Australia. He did not race because he couldn’t get out of the car in a specified amount of time. But he was OK.
    Several drivers went the exact same way and everybody is OK. Maybe BOT is not fit enough. Or maybe there is something we don’t know.

  2. Glad to see that Bottas is feeling better and ready to race. Old news, but weird after reading this from BBC Sport that Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein is considered the most likely choice in the unlikely event that Bottas cannot race in Malaysia.
    So from now on, if you run with a Mercedes engine, and you are one driver down – then call 1-800-PASCAL?

  3. Seems like the Mercs are “purpose built” for all the tracks!

  4. A return for Bottas represents a battle royal with the two Ferraris for the final step on the podium. If he is not fit, Mercedes will hand Williams the fresh-faced Pascal Wehrlein whilst Alex Lynn cries in the corner…

    1. @countrygent Wehrlein is a very promising driver.. I just hope he doesn’t do a ‘Jos the Boss’ if he makes his debut shortly, but more of a ‘Max’!

      1. @fastiesty – It a shame that the FIA appears to hold the official opinion that he’s not a very promising driver seen as no number of DTM accolades get you any closer to an F1 drive!

        1. @countrygent, it’s hardly inconsistent given that DTM didn’t qualify you for a superlicence under the old regulations either (in fact, I am pretty sure that DTM has never been considered an eligible series).

  5. Alex Lynn is an exciting prospect, as he’s had a very successful junior career up to this point but upto this point I don’t think he’s actually driven a F1 car and does his GP3 title qualify him for an automatic F1 super licsence?

    Either way it wouldn’t make sense for him to reserve whilst relatively unprepared. He hasn’t driven the actual car yet as far as I’m aware.

    It’s a shame that Susie has been ruled out from racing too. At least she’s driven the car and whilst it’s doubtful that she’d challenging for a podium, I think she’d at least do a respectful job and points would be a realistic prospect.

    But anyway, all this is largely acedemic, as I think we can be confident that Bottas will be cleared to compete, which would be good news as he’s the best hope to take the fight to the resurgent Ferrari.

    1. Bottas only missed out because he failed the extraction test the day after he picked up the injury. With 2 weeks to rest, I doubt his back is perfect now but he’ll certainly be able to get out of the car quick enough to race.

      1. @petebaldwin And even on a bad day he still has a good enough car to finish 6th at worst to score valuable points if they want to finish ahead of Ferrari.

  6. Just curious if anyone knows how they will determine if he’s fit to race. I thought I read somewhere that a driver must be able to exit the car under their own power in a certain amount of time. If true, does anyone know what that test is?

    1. Just saw petebaldwin’s post – curious what the time frame is…

      1. The rules state the maximum time, and it is rather tight: something around five seconds or so (can’t remember the exact figure).

        1. You’re right – the driver must be capable of exiting the car without external assistance within five seconds.

          In the case of Bottas in Australia, whilst he did manage to complete the extraction test within five seconds, it was clear that he was in considerable pain when he did so – and that was in the relatively untaxing situation of the FIA’s medical centre, not after physically exerting himself in the car and potentially having suffered a major impact beforehand, both of which could have aggravated that injury to a greater degree.

          1. And to illustrate just how quick they have to be able to do it.

            http://instagram.com/p/j1unzjHLSx/

  7. Shouldn’t they run the designated reserve drivers in one of the practice sessions in case his back reaggravates itself? The Malaysia track surface isn’t super smooth in places.

    1. you would think so, wouldn’t you. Then again, they might want Bottas in the car as soon as possible to see how it goes, and probably do not want to further comprimise their preparation by having Massa out of FP1 to do that @reg

  8. Well, I assume the problem is Merc needs to put Wehrlein bcoz he has no SL points at all.
    Lynn already qualifies as he has GP3 title.
    However, If WEH wanna drive F1 car, he has to race this season F1 at least 15 (?) races, if Merc cannot do that, let Lynn drives.

  9. Would be good to have Bottas back on the grid. He would helped in making Australia a less of a snoozefest.

    Predicting some good battles between Bottas and Vettel this season for the last step of the podium, with Kimi and Felipe joining in the party on occasions.

  10. Just give Susie one final chance and if she fails to deliver.. Well then apply your mind..

    1. She hasn’t really had a first chance, let alone a final one! Makes a mockery of the current “reserve” driver status.

      1. But Williams say that they don’t have a “reserve” driver. Wolf is the “test driver” & Lynn is the “development driver”.

        All very confusing really, they ought to nominate one or the other to substitute for the race drivers.

    2. It’s pointless. She will make Luca Badoer’s comeback with Ferrari look successful. Is better for her if she doesn’t get her chance.

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