Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen will retire at the end of the season. Picture: Kenzo Tribouillard/Reuters
Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen will retire at the end of the season. Picture: Kenzo Tribouillard/Reuters

Kimi Raikkonen ’in good spirits’ despite missing Dutch GP after positive Covid-19 test

By AFP Time of article published Sep 4, 2021

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ZANDVOORT - 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.

The 2007 world champion, 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.

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"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.

AFP

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