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Friday, September 17, 2021

Kimi Raikkonen ruled out of Dutch Grand Prix after testing COVID-19 positive

The 41-year-old Raikkonen, who is retiring from Formula One at the end of the season, tested positive for COVID-19 following on-site testing at the Zandvoort track.

By: AP |
Updated: September 4, 2021 5:12:26 pm
Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 F1 champion, is asymptomatic. (Reuters)

Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen has tested positive for the coronavirus and will be replaced by Robert Kubica for the Netherlands Grand Prix.

The 41-year-old Raikkonen, who is retiring from Formula One at the end of the season, tested positive following on-site testing at the Zandvoort track.

“In accordance with COVID-19 protocols he will take no further part in this event. All contacts have been declared,” F1 said in a statement on Saturday.

“The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 will ensure no wider impact.”

Alfa Romeo said that 2007 F1 champion Raikkonen was showing no symptoms.

“He has immediately entered isolation in his hotel,” the team said in a statement on Saturday. “There is no further impact expected for the team for the remainder of this event.”

The 36-year-old Kubica has not raced since the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP in 2019. It will be his 98th start and first for Alfa Romeo, where he is a reserve driver.

Verstappen tops last practice for Dutch GP, Bottas second

Dutch driver Max Verstappen had the fastest time ahead of the two Mercedes cars in the third and final practice session for the Netherlands Grand Prix ahead of qualifying later Saturday.

The orange-clad home crowd roared as the Red Bull star finished an impressive .56 seconds quicker than Valtteri Bottas and .79 quicker than Lewis Hamilton, the defending Formula One champion and current leader this season.

Ferrari faced a race against the clock to repair Carlos Sainz Jr.’s car in time for qualifying after he slid sideways off the Zandvoort track on the high-speed Turn 3 and into the crash barriers about 20 minutes into the session.

The session saw McLaren driver Lando Norris and Haas driver Mick Schumacher go off into the gravel, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took evasive action late on when he swerved sharply left to avoid two cars in front of him.

Hamilton looks for a record-extending 102nd career pole while Verstappen seeks his 10th. This season he leads Hamilton 6-3 for poles and 6-4 for wins, but Hamilton is three points ahead in the standings.

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