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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Kimi Räikkönen ruled out of F1 Dutch GP after testing positive for Covid-19

The Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Räikkönen has tested positive for Covid-19 and will not take part in qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix. The former world champion, who announced this week he is retiring from Formula One at the end of the season, will be replaced by the team’s reserve driver, Robert Kubica.

Raikkonen won the world championship in 2007 and the 41-year-old is the seventh driver to have contracted Covid-19 since the pandemic began. Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris, Sergio Pérez, Charles Leclerc, Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly have all had the virus.

“Kimi is displaying no symptoms and is in good spirits. He has immediately entered isolation,” a spokesperson for Alfa Romeo said. “We ran a thorough close contacts check and I’m glad to say there is no further impact to our operations for the rest of the weekend.”

FIA protocols require immediate and strict isolation after a positive result and Jost Capito, the team principal who had dinner with Raikkonen on Friday night, is also now isolating.

Shortly after Alfa Romeo announced Räikkönen’s withdrawal the FIA stewards summoned Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to determine whether he was overtaking under red flags during Friday’s second practice.

Verstappen could have faced a grid penalty, but having examined the case the stewards chose to take no further action. Their report concluded the driver “took every reasonable action to comply with the regulations, in that he immediately reduced speed in a safe manner at the earliest opportunity upon the first indication of the red flag”.

Kubica last raced in F1 for Williams in 2019 but has tested for Alfa Romeo. He was one of the brightest stars in F1, a contemporary of Hamilton until he suffered a serious injury in 2011 at the Ronde di Andora rally, when an accident partly severed his right forearm. That he made it back to F1 at all was remarkable given the extent of his injuries.[SOURCE]

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