Kubica to remain in absent Raikkonen’s seat for Italian Grand Prix

2021 Italian Grand Prix

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Robert Kubica will spend a second race as a substitute for Kimi Raikkonen in this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

The Alfa Romeo team confirmed Raikkonen will be unable to participate at Monza following his positive test for Covid-19 during the Dutch Grand Prix weekend.

Raikkonen “has not yet been cleared for a return to racing”, the team confirmed in a statement. “As per health authority requirements, he is still isolating in his home.

“Robert, who performed admirably in the Netherlands after stepping in at short notice before [final practice], will return to the car alongside Antonio Giovinazzi.”

Kubica will have his first test of Formula 1’s new Sprint Qualifying event format, which is being used for the second time this weekend.

“First of all, I want to share my best wishes for Kimi,” he said. “I hope he makes a full recovery and returns to the cockpit soon.

“I am looking forward to racing in Monza, an incredible track in which I claimed my first podium, in 2006. Unlike Zandvoort, it is a track I know well and this will help, particularly since the Sprint Qualifying weekend format means we will be one practice session short.

“I am happy with what I did in Holland and I can’t wait to help the team out one more time in Monza.”

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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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24 comments on “Kubica to remain in absent Raikkonen’s seat for Italian Grand Prix”

  1. If I’m correct it will be his 100th start, great for him!

    1. Unfortunately you are not correct, this will be his 99th start.

      1. which matches Giovinazzi’s number!

  2. Anything can happen in Formula 1 and it usually does.
    Of all the unexpected twists and turns that happen during a season, Kubica getting a full race weekend is a really cool one to have.

    1. That was murrey walker I think.

      1. Ops, murray*

        1. Good laugh at … Oops, two Murray-isms in a row.

  3. @x1znet

    Totally agree and hope he holds his own with the others in his group. A dream come true this week for Kubica and the low downforce Monza should be an easier track for him to drive ?

  4. So happy he’s getting more races. I feel bad for Kimi getting covid of course but this is pretty cool. Hopefully Kimi is doing well.

    1. Guessing he didn’t get vaccinated at the pre-season testing and first race.

  5. Great for Robert,he will have a full weekend.

  6. Happy for him. This weekend we can see more what he’s got. Not expecting much though.

  7. So too soon for a return after all.

    1. @jerejj
      I think being able to kick his feet up, enjoy another batch of Patatje Oorlog (dutch French Fries) while watching the racing on the tele, washing it down with green beers probably sounded better than having to show up on Thursday having to deal with press day :)

      Somehow, I don’t think Kimi minds having KUB drive the car this weekend.

      1. Dunno about that one, Monza is a classic and it would have been his last. Pretty sure he would have preferred to be there. Sochi on the other hand… ;-)

  8. 2022 seat swap now? Bottas, Russell and Albon. I wonder what Horner would say.

    1. comment on the wrong article.

  9. As great as this is for KUB, it’s a shame that a genuine young talent couldn’t take this opportunity. We know Roberts form, it would great to discover someone waiting in the wings that hasn’t had a race and wouldn’t otherwise get a shot at the big time.

  10. Think this was always going to be likely just given the are back to back races. It’s not even a week since he first tested positive yet. It was always likely to be too tight a timeframe.

    But the thought did cross my mind that he just might not bother coming back. All the attention on him with impending retirement and his last race…. it’s just not Kimi, is it?.

    Wouldn’t be the first time either he just left a few races early after announcing a departure.

  11. I gather F1 drivers have not been vaccinated.

    1. someone or something
      8th September 2021, 23:46

      Nope, you’ve misgathered that.
      I believe they all are. There was a bit of a story around Vettel before the opening race, when he refused the opportunity to get the vaccine (he felt it would’ve been an undeserved privilege at a time when the vaccine was not yet generally available). But the rest of the drivers got vaccinated in Bahrain at the latest.
      So, yes, Räikkönen is vaccinated. Which is why no one is really worried about his health, but the only thing that matters is when he’ll test negative.

      1. someone or something
        8th September 2021, 23:52

        Here’s an article that quotes him mentioning that he got the first vaccination in Bahrain.

    2. They have been vaccinated. People forget that vaccination is not inoculation, so can still get the disease (with less effects) and can still spread the disease.

  12. Kubica wasn’t shown much in the coverage at the last race, but to jump into an f1 car in FP3 on a demanding track, a track he only raced once on in 2003 in junior racing, he did well. His race pace was solid, he did a great defence of Vettel near the end a few times, where he kept the outside line in turn one and held position, and on the last lap he over took latifi. on the radio after the race, he thanked the team for giving him a car he could do “something” with for the first time since 2010, which was a brush at Williams for their dreadful effort in 2019 also. This race weekend coming up, where Kubica scored his first podium in 2006 could well be the race he does the best at since his terrible accident. A good result at Monza could be a great way to end his F1 career. But i am hoping for race 100 at some point. This will be his 100th grand prix, but only his 99th start.

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