Valtteri Bottas says changes to the driving position in his Williams was the cause of the back injury that ruled him out of the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship opener in Australia.

The Finn suffered soft tissue damage in his lower back during qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, an injury that would force him to withdraw from the race despite going on to secure sixth place on the grid.

Having been passed as fit to compete in the Malaysian Grand Prix, Bottas has revealed that changes to the driving position, in particular the pedals, was likely to be the cause of his injury.

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"We've a really good idea [of how it happened]. It's the seat and pedal position, so the back is now in a more neutral position, less pressure on the discs. We are confident that should be it. It was like someone putting a knife in there, with the pain ramping up through to midnight."

Though Bottas says he felt ready to race in Australia despite the discomfort, he respected the decision of the FIA medical team.

"I did pass the tests, but they had all the access to all the material from the hospital, from the MRI and all that stuff. Maybe thought it was better in the longer term, which could have been true.

"It was very disappointing not to race, but I also respect the FIA's decision, with the support great from the team."

Though he has passed the medical tests, the FIA has ruled that should Bottas begin to feel discomfort again, he must stop immediately. In the meantime, Williams has announced former Force India and Sauber driver Adrian Sutil will be the team's new reserve driver for the 2015 season.