Raikkonen out of Dutch GP after testing positive

Finnish driver will miss this weekend’s race, his team Alfa Romeo announced

AFP September 04, 2021

Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss this weekend's Dutch Grand Prix, his Alfa Romeo team and the race organisers announced on Saturday.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, meanwhile, escaped with no penalty after being called to appear before the stewards ahead of Saturday's final practice session to answer questions over his actions during the first red flag period of Friday's second practice.

The 2007 world champion Raikkonen, 41, who is retiring from Formula One at the end of the season, will be replaced in Zandvoort by Alfa Romeo's reserve driver Robert Kubica.

"Kimi is displaying no symptoms and is in good spirits. He has immediately entered isolation in his hotel. The team wishes Kimi a speedy recovery," the Alfa Romeo team tweeted.

"The team ran a thorough close contacts check and do not expect any further impact to our operations for the rest of the weekend."

Championship organisers and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said that Raikkonen's positive test "will not have a wider impact on the Dutch GP".

Polish driver Kubica, 36, won the Canadian Grand Prix in 2008 but his career was severely hampered following a crash during the Andorra Rally in 2011 in which his right forearm was partially severed.

"Robert has been reserve driver... since the start of the 2020 season and has driven the team's C41 in three practice sessions this year," Alfa Romeo said.

"With 97 Formula One starts to his name and experience with 2021 Formula One machinery, he will be ready for action and to give his best for the team."

With Raikkonen needing a negative test before being allowed to return to the paddock, his participation in next weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza is also in doubt.

Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll all missed GPs last year because they had Covid-19 while Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc tested positive during the winter break.

Verstappen's summons by the stewards came as a result of an alleged overtake of Lance Stroll's Aston Martin while red flags were flown after Hamilton's Mercedes ground to a halt on the track.

The Dutchman, who is just three points behind Hamilton in the championship standings, however escaped sanction, much to the relief of his home fans at Zandvoort.


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