Robert Kubica will race in this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, replacing Kimi Raikkonen who has tested positive for covid-19. Who is the Alfa Romeo F1 reverse driver, which teams has he raced for and where did he win his only Formula One grand prix?

Kubica Alfa Romeo’s F1 reserve driver after positive Raikkonen test

Having announced his retirement from F1 earlier this week, Raikkonen will now miss the Dutch GP at Zandvoort.

The veteran Finn is isolating at his hotel and not displaying any symptoms.

His missing F1’s return to Dutch soil for the race is the first that he will have missed since the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix.

On that day, Raikkonen’s Ferrari conked out on the way to the grid.

Although he took his front row starting slot alongside pole-man Lewis Hamilton, Raikkonen was wheeled off the grid before the start due to a battery issue.

The F1 reserve driver for Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo squad is Robert Kubica.

F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands - Final Practice
Photo by Clive Rose – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Who is Alfa Romeo F1 reserve driver Robert Kubica?

Kubica, 36, drove in place of Raikkonen during the final practice session at Zandvoort on Saturday morning – finishing 19th fastest. Which F1 teams has Kubica raced for before?

Provided Kubica actually takes the start for Alfa Romeo – it will become the fourth F1 team he has raced for.

He started his career as a test driver for the BMW Sauber in 2006.

Promoted in a race seat mid-season, he took a maiden podium finish at that year’s Italian GP.

He would remain at BMW Sauber until the end of the 2009 season – when BMW withdrew from F1 as a result of the global financial meltdown.

F1 2021 | Accolades Trailer

F1 2021 | Accolades Trailer

The Alfa Romeo squad can trace its roots back to BMW Sauber.

After BMWs withdrawal, Peter Sauber once again took over the running of his eponymous outfit.

Through financial difficulty, the Sauber name would remain until the end of 2018.

Although the cars now carry the name of Alfa Romeo, this is little more than a sponsorship exercise.

The cars are effectively Sauber designed and built, supported by Alfa’s sponsorship.

After leaving the Hinwil-based outfit, Kubica switched across to Renault’s F1 operation for 2010.

He picked up three podiums, including third in Monaco where a stunning qualifying lap put him on the front row.

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Race
Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Rally accident and F1 return nine years later

Kubica’s promising early F1 career was ended in early 2011 in a horrific rally accident.

During pre-season testing, he took part in Rally Andorra.

He hit a guardrail and suffered nearly fatal injuries.

He suffered a partially amputated forearm in the accident as well as multiple fractures and blood loss.

It was expected that Kubica would never drive a single-seater racing car again.

He was able to take part in rallying and in the DTM, owing to the large cockpit spaces of such cars.

In the confined spaces of an F1 cockpit, it was believed Kubica would struggle around tight corners – given the limited mobility of his arm.

However, in 2017 he tested for his old Renault squad. He was eventually signed by the Williams squad for 2018 as a reserve driver.

F1 Grand Prix of Mexico
Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images,

For 2019, he returned to the F1 grid for the first time since the ’10 season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The Williams was dreadfully uncompetitive.

Kubica scored the team’s only point of the year with tenth in the wet German GP.

He was replaced by Nicholas Latifi for 2020.

Kubica then signed a deal with Alfa Romeo as the reserve and third driver.

This meant he would drive when one of the two regular race drivers are unavailable – such as this weekend at Zandvoort.

Should Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver actually start the Dutch GP, it will be Kubica’s 98th F1 race.

Has Kubica ever won a F1 grand prix?

Kubica benefited from a bizarre pitlane collision between Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton at the 2008 Canadian GP to score his first F1 win.

The then BMW Sauber driver beat teammate Nick Heidfeld home in a one-two finish after Hamilton rear-ended Raikkonen at the end of the pitlane.

It is the first, and to date only, F1 grand prix win by a Polish driver.

The victory also moved Kubica to the top of the drivers’ standings for the first time.

It came a year after he suffered a massive accident at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Approaching the hairpin, Kubica touched another car and was spat in the concrete barrier.

He then flew across the track as the BMW shed parts, coming to rest against the barrier on the outside of the circuit.

Fortunately he was uninjured, although he did miss the United States GP the next week.

This opening enabled a young Sebastian Vettel to make his F1 debut.

However, BMW failed to realise that they could fight for the 2008 championship after Kubica’s win.

It elected to put all resources on the 2009 car.

This backfired spectacularly, as Kubica only claimed one podium – in the penultimate race of the season in Brazil.

BMW Sauber Celebrate, 2008 Canadian Grand Prix
Photo by Darren Heath/Getty Images

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