ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — Alfa Romeo F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be replaced by Robert Kubica for the Netherlands Grand Prix.
The 41-year-old Raikkonen, who announced this week that he will retire 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.”
Raikkonen becomes at least the sixth active F1 driver to have contracted COVID-19.
The list also Lewis Hamilton (who has said he still suffers some effects), Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly.
There was a third and final practice session Saturday ahead of qualifying later in the day. The race is on Sunday.
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.
Kubica, who also is a veteran of the Rolex 24, was once considered among the most talented and quickest drivers in F1, securing one win among his 12 podium finishes between 2006-10.
The following year, a gruesome rally accident left the Polish driver needing seven hours of surgery on a partially severed right hand.
BREAKING: Kimi Raikkonen will miss the Dutch Grand Prix after testing positive for Covid-19
Wishing you a speedy recovery Kimi, look forward to seeing you back on track soon!#DutchGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/nSeZvUaHu5
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 4, 2021
When he returned to F1 in 2019, he scored one point for the struggling Williams team with a 10th-place finish at the German GP.
Raikkonen, who is in the final year of his contract with Alfa Romeo, announced his impending retirement Wednesday on Instagram.
The 41-year-old Finn has 21 career victories, his last in 2018 at the United States Grand Prix when he was with Ferrari and finished third in the championship standings.
Raikkonen finished fourth at Interlagos in 2019 but has not been higher than ninth since. He’s scored two points this year, finishing 10th in both Azerbaijan and Hungary.