The team released a statement less than hour before the start of Sunday's race saying the scans had shown that Bottas had suffered a tear in his lower back and would not take part in the race.

"It can be confirmed that the scans revealed that Valtteri had suffered has a very small tear in the annular part of a disc in his lower back," the team said.

"Valtteri has since been evaluated by the FIA's medical team and following a series of tests, the FIA Medical Delegate has deemed Valtteri unfit to take part in this afternoon's race.

"The team respect the FIA's decision and will now work with Valtteri ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix (on March 29) to ensure he receives the treatment required to get him back to full fitness."

Bottas enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2014, securing six podium finishes for Williams to claim fourth place in the championship.

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