Valtteri Bottas is recovering from his back injury in Indonesia, the Williams team has confirmed.
The Finn had to sit out the Melbourne season opener last Sunday after suffering a torn disc in his back during the qualifying hour.
Reports said he subsequently travelled from Australia to Indonesia to prepare for the time-zone and heat of Malaysia, even though his participation in the second round of the world championship is not yet guaranteed.
According to the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, Bottas is working in Indonesia with his fitness coach Antti Vierula and a physiotherapist.
“We are doing everything we can to help the process of getting him back to full fitness,” a spokesman for the British team told the Daily Mail.
Turun Sanomat said it is likely Bottas will eventually need surgery to completely heal the injury, just as Kimi Raikkonen did at the end of 2013.
“The driver’s lower back gets really heavy loads on it because of the braking,” former double world champion Mika Hakkinen told Ilta Sanomat newspaper. (GMM)