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Adrian Sutil on standby in Malaysia in case Bottas has a relapse

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Adrian Sutil on standby in Malaysia in case Bottas has a relapse
Mar 26, 2015, 1:12 PM

Adrian Sutil strode into the Sepang paddock this afternoon, dressed in Williams team gear and headed to the Williams garage where he had a seat fit...

Adrian Sutil strode into the Sepang paddock this afternoon, dressed in Williams team gear and headed to the Williams garage where he had a seat fitting for Valtteri Bottas' car in preparation for a possible call up in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

This follows clearance from FIA doctors for Bottas to race in Malaysia, but with a caveat that "in case of a recurrence of pain or any abnormal feeling, he must stop at the earliest opportunity." Bottas was sidelined in Melbourne last week with a back injury incurred during qualifying.

Williams confirmed that Sutil has been taken on for the whole season as a reserve driver and noted that "he is fully prepared to join Williams Martini Racing at any event, should the need arise."

Clearly Williams is concerned about a relapse for Bottas. Back injuries are notoriously difficult to manage with F1 drivers as they can arise at any time and can easily be aggravated. The spine and the muscles along it are one of the most stressed areas of a driver's body in F1, compressed downwards by the seat belts and strained laterally with repeated high G forces in corners, especially here at Sepang, which is very bumpy as it was built on a swamp and features a number of high speed corners and quick changes of direction.

Sir Frank Williams said, “I’m delighted to have Adrian join our stable of drivers for the 2015 season. Adrian brings extensive racing experience, having competed 128 Formula One races during his career. Having most recently raced during the 2014 season also gives him excellent knowledge of the current generation of race car and new Hybrid power units, which is invaluable for anyone needing to step into the cockpit in 2015. The fight for a top Constructors’ Championship position will be intense this season, therefore we have selected a driver with recent race experience and are confident that if the need arose, he would be a solid pair of hands to race the FW37 and assist our 2015 campaign.”

And Sutil looked pleased to have a foothold back in the sport, even if it is just in a reserve capacity for now, “I’m very proud to be a part of such a famous and great F1 team. To work for Sir Frank Williams and his team means a lot to me. I would like to thank everyone at Williams for their belief in my qualities and the opportunity to work with such a successful and competitive outfit," he said.

Many fans had questioned why Susie Wolff or Alex Lynn were not drafted in. Wolff is a development driver, not a reserve driver while Lynn is also engaged in simulator work and has no f1 experience, with GP3 being the limit of his activity to date.

With Williams contending for second place in the championship and podiums at every Grand Prix, it was clearly felt that an experienced driver was needed and Sutil fitted the bill.
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