Kubica to race in Dutch Grand Prix in place of Raikkonen

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Robert Kubica will make an unexpected return to race in Formula 1 in this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.

The Alfa Romeo reserve driver will substitute for Kimi Raikkonen, who has tested positive for Covid-19.

The 41-year-old, who this week announced he would retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season, participated in practice at Zandvoort yesterday. Alfa Romeo said he is “displaying no symptoms and is in good spirits”.

“He has immediately entered isolation in his hotel,” Alfa Romeo 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.”

Kubica has driven Alfa Romeo’s C41 in several test and practice sessions already this year. He will have a single hour of practice in the car today ahead of qualifying and tomorrow’s race.

It will be Kubica’s first appearance in a Formula 1 following his 2019 campaign for Williams. A difficult season in the uncompetitive FW42 saw him score a single point.

The veteran of 97 grand prix starts previously raced in Formula 1 between 2006 and 2010, scoring a single victory in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix. His career was cut short when he suffered serious injuries in a crash on the Ronde di Andora rally in February 2011, which left him with a limited range of motion in his right arm.

Alfa Romeo’s other reserve driver, 2020 Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott, said on social media he “wasn’t scheduled to be there” at Zandvoort this weekend. “That’s just my luck,” added Ilott, who travelled to the USA this week for an IndyCar test ahead of his coming debut in the series.

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2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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47 comments on “Kubica to race in Dutch Grand Prix in place of Raikkonen”

  1. This will mark Kubica’s 99th F1 start. I hope he can get to 100 before retiring, he is nearly 6 full years younger than Kimi.

    1. I guess my comment back from May didn’t age well.

    2. That is likely considering Monza is just next week.

    3. @kpcart 5 years and less than two months actually, but he probably won’t get 100.

  2. Wow, that’s a surprise. Will be interesting to see what he can do.

    1. Destroy GIO and put the pin on that conversation

      1. someone or something
        4th September 2021, 11:18

        Which is ironic, since your comment seems to be motivated by disdain for Giovinazzi. But if Kubica came along and beat Giovinazzi, that’d end up reflecting badly on Räikkönen, who hasn’t had much success in that respect lately. ;-)

    2. Not much, probably. What did Kimi and Giovinazzi manage in this year’s car?
      On the other hand, who knows how the race will go? A few crashes, a few SC’s, maybe he can luck into some points.

    3. If he’s doing well, will his points be for Räikkönen, or will he remain on the list as a driver driving one race, gaining some points?

  3. First COVID-19 driver miss this season.

  4. I hope this year’s driver’s championship will not be decided by Covid.

  5. I hope he gets well soon. But I wonder what happens with his mechanics, other team members and even others on the paddock at large who had close contact with him during the weekend. Will they all have to isolate?

    1. They will be fine as they are tested.

  6. I just hope Robert doesn’t hurt himself or others.

    1. Odd comment.

      Kubica is just as professional and capable as any of the other drivers.

    2. @proesterchen
      What?? I don’t know if you follow motorsport, but Kubica was 1-lap away from winning the Le Mans 24h just 2 weeks ago. It was a technical failure that stopped him at the very end of the race that is much more challenging than any F1 race.

  7. What!!!
    Are we in April.

  8. I thought everyone had got two shots, but oh well. Interesting how Kubica will fare in this one-off return.

    1. Vaccination is not a guarantee against infection.
      It just means that you are less likely to suffer potentially fatal consequences when you do catch Covid.

      1. And given Raikkonen apparently has no symptoms, that’s quite possible where he is now indeed @nullapax; still, can’t take more risk, hope he remains symptom free and remains his good health.

        So, good luck to Kubica, not a car to kill giants with, but who knows how it goes, and good for him that he gets another opportunity, and that at a track like this.

      2. Also less likely to get infected. But never 100% risk free.

    2. You assume everyone has had the jab. Many many people have decided they don’t need it because they are simply not at risk, especially a very healthy person under 70 like Kimi.

      1. The main reason for vaccination as with all vaccines is the protect the community. If anything, a healthy person with a healthy immune system is likely to suffer from severe covid symptoms due to the cytokine storm that the covid virus triggers. This is quickly becoming a crisis for the unvaccinated

        1. Utter nonsense.

          The stats for covid are just the same, if not less, than regular flu, yet you’d never have see this same hysteria in a previous years flu season.

          Yes a tiny minority of healthy people can die from flu, but we’ve never shut down society over that infinitesimal risk.

          This is pure propaganda to spread fear and create a society of more and more control.

          Open your eyes people.

          1. We also don’t have to deal with “Long Flu” as we do with Long COVID. Surviving doesn’t mean you’ve made a 100% recovery.

          2. Regular flu? What an odd phrase. Influenza is much more predictable. The newer covid strains are much more infectious and are affecting a much higher proportion of younger people. Do you even understand what SARS-CoV 2 does to the body? Multi organ failure from the cytokine storm. A novel virus doesnt have emotion nor have any political stance. They’re sole purpose is to replicate within a host. Ignorant people like you are perfect hosts.

          3. Just do not underestimate flu. The 1918/19 pandemic flu was the worst pandemia ever, at least in absolute numbers (the 14th century Black Plague was worse only in relative terms) and killed many millions of healthy young people worldwide (somewhere between 50 and 100 M). We might have another one like that any year, just saying.

      2. Many many people have decided they don’t need it because they are simply not at risk

        You mean actual hermits?

        1. Don’t be so gullible to believe the main stream media.

          They dont have your best interests in mind.

          1. MSM? Should have brought god and muh freedums! to the table for the trifecta.

      3. This is just misinformation, good health and good physical condition are no guaranty of immunity against Covid. Ask Hamilton.

        1. Bunch of numpties with Degrees in medicine from YouTube University.

          Them: I’m healthy. I don’t need to get vaccinated.

          COVI 19: Thanks for the stay of execution. Ima mutate into something even worse now. Thanks!

      4. Nandy, stop spreading dangerous misinformation. You dont know what you are talking about

  9. A capable driver who has refused to stop fighting despite everything.
    It would be excellent for him to get his 100 so good luck to him I say.

    1. A really short career for modern standards, stewart ended up with 99 gp and could’ve hit 100 at his last race.

      1. I’m going to be cynical on this and say as Kimi is retiring they can use this as a cover as Orlen want Kubica in for a couple of races.

  10. He was tested positive for coronavirus, not for COVID-19. He is vaccinated, so COVID-19 pneumonia is unlikely.

    1. Incorrect, he had a positive PCR test specific for SARS-CoV2/COVID-19. Coronavirus only refers to the family of virus.

      1. He tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antigen. Covid is the name of the disease. Might seem like splitting hairs here, but it’s not. Since he has no symptoms, at least at the moment, by definition he can’t have Covid.

        Anyway, hope he can race in Monza. PCR viral load decreases twice as fast among the vaccinated, so perhaps it will be undetectable already by next friday.

        1. Incorrect he had a positive PCR test. https://www.fia.com/news/f1-statement-covid-19-test-result-kimi-raikkonen. The antigen test is not as reliable. Also PCR tests can remain positive for 60 days after an infection.

        2. There IS such a thing as asymptomatic disease, when there are objectivable and pathologic changes in your body even if you don’t feel a thing. A (non false) positive PCR means your body (or at least your respiratory tract) is invaded by SARS-CoV-2, therefore you have the COVID-19 disease even if you are asymptomatic. A positive antigen test is quite different. The vaccine (usually) makes you test positive even if you never had the disease.

          The bad news about asymptomatic COVID disease is that you can still spread it and cause maybe serious, even lethal disease to your contacts. Granted, asymptomatic patients are quite a bit less contagious than symptomatic ones. But still.

  11. Vaccination does reduce risk of contracting vivid by up to 90%. It also shortens the length of time there is sufficient virus density in the respiratory tract to infect others. Vaccination reduces mild, moderate and severe covid symptoms and almost certainly death. These are the same principles as with the flu jab.

  12. Considering Raikkonen’s habit of losing interest entirely and wandering off, anyone taking bets on him being back at all now?

    1. Was thinking the same. Echoes of lotus 2013….

    2. someone or something
      4th September 2021, 13:01

      Why? It’s been that way all season, and he’s still turned up every time they let him.

  13. Get well, and happy retirement years Kimi :)
    Meanwhile, I think Kubica will not beat Giovinazzi now, as Giovinazzi showed some slow but steady improvement in the last few years, while Kubica was outside for too long, and even if he has some of his former pace, and of course qualities on the mental side, I think he had problems with the long stints due to his injury. So I expect him beating the Haas drivers, and Latifi will be likely comfortably ahead as the recent Williams updates are working well. A good measurement of it is Latifi fairly regularly participating Q2 nowadays.

    1. For Giovinazzi it is a second half season of proving himself to stay in F1 and the Ferrari drivers’ academy. This is quite visible from his efforts in Netherlands. More pressure on him after Kimi is gone as he is going to loose his seat to newer Ferrari talents.

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