Malaysian GP: Valtteri Bottas in 'top shape' after back injury

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas is helped away after injuring his back during qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix

Williams's Valtteri Bottas is confident he will be passed fit to race in this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Finn was forced to miss the season-opening race in Australia on 15 March after suffering a back injury.

Bottas said in a statement he had taken "the necessary measures to make sure I arrive in Malaysia fit to race".

Bottas must pass FIA medical tests at the track on Thursday but his manager Didier Coton said he was confident these would present no problem.

"Valtteri is in very good shape," Coton told BBC Sport. "He is working very hard.

"I spoke with him today and he is in top shape. He will have to take the FIA medical, which I expect him to pass.

"I don't see any reason why he wouldn't pass it - he tells me he is back to normal. I'm very confident about it, but of course I am not a doctor."

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A Williams statement read: "Valtteri is aiming to race this weekend and isn't contemplating anything else, and we are also planning for that."

Bottas suffered a small tear in an annular disc in his lower back during qualifying for the Melbourne race.

He was prevented from racing by doctors despite passing an extrication test, in which a driver has to be able to get out of the car within five seconds.

Although he managed it within the time specified, doctors noticed that he was in severe pain while doing so and felt he might not be able to manage it after driving the car in the race.

They were also concerned about him doing himself further damage.