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GP Week : Issue 216
F1 >>> news BOTTAS BACKS OUT A mistake on the final corner of his final Q3 flying lap did more than just cement Valtteri Bottas in sixth place. During the second phase of qualifying the Finn began complaining of back pain, which was exacerbated by running over the kerb on the exit of the final turn at the end of the session. Taken to hospital to have his back examined, he was held overnight for observation. “It can be confirmed that the scans revealed that Valt teri had suffered has a ver y small tear in the annular part of a disc in his lower back,” said the team in a statement on Sunday, adding that he subsequently failed a medical evaluation which ruled him out of the event. "It's come out of the blue," admit ted Williams per formance chief Rob Smedley after qualifying. "He was in a great deal of pain yet he managed to be three- tenths of f that little group in front of him, so he has done a really good job." It was the first time a Williams had failed to take the s tar t since the ill-fated 2005 US Grand Prix Indianapolis 2005 when Michelin runners pulled in at the end of the formation lap. RIGHT Cutting a lonely figure, Valtteri Bottas leaves the Williams garage after failing a car 'exit' test on race morning. After flying half way around the world, Manor failed to get a single car on track over the Australian Grand Prix weekend. Its appearance in Melbourne suggested the team, which was on the brink of ex tinction at the end of last season, had turned a corner and that the wor st was behind it. It promised a bright new future, but Australia brought the team back to ground with a large thump. What arrived in Melbourne were a couple of almost built cars riddled with problems. The team claimed there were software issues courtesy of administrators wiping the computer systems but somehow it had the CAD data to modify the 2014 car to meet 2015 spec. It spoke of a laundry list of problems that it was working through with the intention of getting out of the garage, only it never did. The farcical state of affairs also caught the ire of the s tewards, who summoned the team to explain itself on Saturday evening, though no action came of it. Team boss Graeme Lowdon claimed the squad simply ran out of time to have its cars ready to take part in qualifying, a team spokesperson confirming to GPWeek that work was continuing around the clock back at the factory. "Key elements of the work have been carried out remotely," the spokesperson said. "Breaking cur few would have added no benefit. " If the problem had been a mechanical one requiring mechanics to have physical access to the car then it would have been a different matter. " T here has been no shor tage of man-hours expended but breaking cur few would have provided no benefit whatsoever." The team remains hopeful, though uncer tain, that it will take to the track in Malaysia next time out. However, F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone has suggested that failing to per form in Melbourne may cost the team its spot on the F1 grid. For more, check out the Formula Money feature later in this issue (page 28). POOR MANORS BrieFly VETTEL KEEPING HIS HEAD Now limited to just one helmet design for the season, Sebastian Vettel has opted for the colours of the German national karting team. Vettel has used more than 90 different designs in his 140 grands prix. When deciding on his lid for the season he elected against reviving his original design; a Giorgio Pantano replica. DAD BEFORE DRIVER Asked which is more important, driving in Formula One or fatherhood, Kimi Raikkonen confessed his four month-old son, Robin, was his priority. He said that while driving is what he enjoys it is just his job – being a parent is far more important to the 35-year-old. CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK In 2001 Jos Verstappen lapped the Albert Park circuit in 1:29.934. 14 years later his son, Max Verstappen, became the youngest ever Formula One driver at the tender age of 17. It didn't take him long to upstage his father either, setting a best time of 1:28.868 in qualifying. DON'T CALL ME JUNIOR Fellow Toro Rosso debutant Carlos Sainz has asserted himself as his own man, insisting he is Carlos Sainz, not Carlos Sainz Jnr and definitely not Junior. The Spaniard is of course son of former World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz, who presumably doesn’t like being called Carlos Sainz Snr or Pops. LATE UPDATE Bernie Ecclestone has 'fined' Manor the cost of their Australian air freight' but the team will be allowed one more chance to compete, in Malaysia. 9 GPWEEK.com // 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: