Valtteri Bottas could be forced to miss the opening round of the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship after being hospitalised with a back injury sustained in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

The Finn reached Q3 and proceeded to qualify in sixth position for Williams, but was reportedly complaining a pain in the small of his back during Q2, an ailment that is unlikely to have been helped by the rear stepping out of the last corner on his final run.

Taken to the medical centre, Bottas has since been transferred to the hospital for further examination, putting him in doubt for the race tomorrow.

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"It was great to finally start the season and to have a very tight qualifying session. The car performed well and we were fighting with Ferrari throughout.

"Unfortunately towards the end of Q2 I started to feel a pain in my back. Under the circumstances I'm happy with sixth place, but as Felipe proved, this is not a true indication of our pace.

"Given the back complaint I had during the session, the team and I felt it sensible to get me checked out at the local hospital and we await their diagnosis."

His Williams Martini Racing team-mate Felipe Massa will start from third position.