Kubica to stand in for Raikkonen again at Monza

Robert Kubica will race for Alfa Romeo again in the Italian Grand Prix this weekend as Kimi Raikkonen continues to be sidelined by COVID-19.

Raikkonen tested positive on Friday at the Dutch Grand Prix, with the result coming through on Saturday morning and forcing Kubica to jump in the car with just one hour’s practice ahead of qualifying. After an impressive last-minute performance, the Pole will remain in the seat at Monza this weekend while Raikkonen continues to await clearance to race.

“Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN can confirm that reserve driver, Robert Kubica, will continue to deputize for Kimi Raikkonen at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix,” a team statement read. “Kimi missed last week’s race in Zandvoort after testing positive to COVID-19 and has not yet been cleared for a return to racing.

“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 FP3, will return to the car alongside Antonio Giovinazzi.”

Kubica, who is also backed by the team’s title sponsor ORLEN, will once again get only one practice session ahead of qualifying, with the Sprint format returning for a second trial outing.

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