Kubica to race in Dutch GP after Raikkonen tests positive for COVID-19

Robert Kubica will make his Formula 1 return in this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix after Kimi Raikkonen tested positive for COVID-19.

Kubica to race in Dutch GP after Raikkonen tests positive for COVID-19

The FIA announced on Saturday morning ahead of final practice at Zandvoort that Alfa Romeo driver Raikkonen had tested positive, ruling him out of the remainder of the race weekend.

“The FIA, Formula 1 and Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN can today confirm that during onsite PCR testing for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix, Kimi Räikkönen has tested positive for COVID-19,” a statement reads.

“In accordance with COVID-19 protocols he will take no further part in this Event. All contacts have been declared.”

Alfa Romeo said in its own statement that Raikkonen is “displaying no symptoms and is in good spirits”.

“He has immediately entered isolation in his hotel,” the team added. “The team has carried out an investigation for any close contacts and there is no further impact expected for the team for the remainder of this event.”

Robert Kubica, Test and Reserve Driver, Alfa Romeo Racing and Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing

Robert Kubica, Test and Reserve Driver, Alfa Romeo Racing and Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

It means that Alfa Romeo reserve driver Kubica will step into the cockpit and make his first F1 start since his final appearance for Williams at the end of the 2019 season, as confirmed by the team shortly before FP3.

One-time grand prix winner Kubica raced in F1 between 2006 and 2010 before sustaining severe injuries to his right hand and arm in a rallying accident that appeared to end his grand prix career.

But the Pole made a racing comeback to F1 with Williams in 2019, spending a season alongside George Russell before taking up a reserve role at Alfa Romeo from 2020.

Kubica has been racing in the European Le Mans Series this year, and was set to win the LMP2 class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Team WRT before the car stopped in the final few minutes, meaning it was not classified.

He has already driven this year’s Alfa Romeo C41 car in some testing days, giving him experience with the car and its processes, and will use his usual number #88 for the weekend.

Kubica will hit the track for the first time at Zandvoort in FP3, getting one hour of running before qualifying in the afternoon.

While Alfa Romeo is confident that Raikkonen did not infect any other members of the team, Williams boss Jost Capito has decided to isolate himself from the squad after meeting the Finn on Friday night.

A statement from Williams explained that Capito would not return to the paddock for the remainder of the Dutch GP weekend.

The team said: “Jost met with Kimi yesterday but in a socially distanced manner and while he is therefore not a close contact and has been retested with a negative result, Jost and Williams have taken the decision as a precautionary measure to mitigate any potential risk to the team.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why Verstappen’s subdued Dutch GP practice times hide a major shot at a famous home win
Previous article

Why Verstappen’s subdued Dutch GP practice times hide a major shot at a famous home win

Next article

Verstappen summoned to stewards for overtaking under red flag

Verstappen summoned to stewards for overtaking under red flag
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022