Raikkonen ruled out of Dutch Grand Prix after positive test

Raikkonen becomes the seventh F1 driver known to have contracted Covid-19

Kimi Raikkonen has been ruled out of the Dutch Grand Prix after testing positive for Covid-19. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Kimi Raikkonen has been ruled out of the Dutch Grand Prix after testing positive for Covid-19. Photograph: David Davies/PA

 

Kimi Raikkonen has been ruled out of Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix after testing positive for Covid-19.

The 2007 world champion, 41, who this week announced he would be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season, has been replaced by Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica.

Raikkonen becomes the seventh driver known to have contracted the virus following Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris, Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc, Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly.

Polish driver Kubica, 36, has taken part in three practice sessions for Alfa Romeo this season.

An F1 spokesperson said: “The FIA, Formula One and Alfa Romeo Racing can today confirm that during onsite PCR testing for the Dutch Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen has tested positive for Covid-19.

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

“The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula One will ensure no wider impact on the Dutch Grand Prix.”

Williams team principal Jost Capito is isolating after having dinner with the Alfa Romeo driver on Friday.

A Williams statement read: “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.”

Final practice

Meanwhile Max Verstappen threw down the gauntlet to championship rival Lewis Hamilton by finishing fastest in final practice on Saturday. Verstappen crossed the line more than half-a-second clear of Valtteri Bottas with Hamilton the best part of eight tenths back in the other Mercedes.

The Dutchman’s super-quick lap was greeted with a roar from the 70,000 partisan fans at the Red Bull driver’s home race.

Verstappen, who avoided a grid penalty for overtaking Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll during a red-flag period here in practice on Friday, will head into qualifying as the favourite to secure his second pole position in as many weeks.

Friday’s running at Zandvoort — Formula One’s first visit here since 1985 — was heavily disrupted and the final one-hour session was suspended for 15 minutes after Carlos Sainz crashed out.

The Spaniard lost control of his Ferrari under braking for Hugenholz before hitting the tyre wall.

Sainz emerged unscathed from the accident, but his team will now face a race against time to ensure his damaged machine is ready for the start of qualifying.

Sebastian Vettel, Lando Norris and Mick Schumacher all ran off the circuit in the windy conditions.

Behind the top three, Sergio Perez finished fourth for Red Bull, nine tenths adrift of his team-mate with Fernando Alonso fifth and Norris sixth.

Kubica finished 19th of the 20 runners ahead of his first grand prix since 2019.

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