As it turns out, Kimi Matias Raikkonen will end his career without having ever driven a Formula 1 race at Zandvoort, home to the Dutch GP. The Formula 1 legend that is all set to put an end to his F1 journey at the conclusion of the 2021 World Championship, will be sitting out of the Dutch Grand Prix that returns to the calendar after a massive gap of 36 years.
Raikkonen tested positive for COVID 19 upon his recent medical examination and shall, therefore, not take any part in the qualifying or the Grand Prix in The Netherlands. Reserve driver Robert Kubica of Alfa Romeo shall be taking the place of Kimi Raikkonen and will be pairing alongside Antonio Giovinazzi for Sunday’s race at Zandvoort.
Last weekend, amid the tumultuous rains at Spa-Francorchamps, Raikkonen began nineteenth on the grid in another disappointing finish but would end P18, which surely had he been interviewed would’ve resulted in a response like the following,
“Woah, I mean it was a sad race for us, but there’s not much we could have done anyways with the rain and the weather at Spa!”
That being told, in his distinguished career that saw the famous Finn, known for being phlegmatic and for his intolerance toward the media, Raikkonen went on to collect wins at Belgium, Brazil, Turkey, Abu Dhabi, Australia and Malaysia to quote a few tracks.
What he’ll miss perhaps- even if not overwhelmingly so- is the chance of having contested at the Dutch GP, which happens to be the home race of not only Max Verstappen, one of Kimi’s contemporaries but also that of his father, Jos, against whom Kimi did race in his early days.
As for the rest of the grid, Zandvoort is being looked at as a great opportunity for making some excellent moves up on the track with the banked corners offering scope for overtaking.
But will that be any easy, since there are practically no data available with there being no recent racing history (barring Friday’s practice session), we shall have to wait and see.
As for Kimi Raikkonen, his massive fans and the Finn himself would expect to mount a comeback soon since not an awful lot of races remain in the ongoing championship season.
Can the Finn, therefore, mark a return to the grid at Monza? Again, only time will tell.