Robert Kubica is back racing again! This time it’s for the Italian Grand Prix as Kimi Raikkonen still has to isolate after his positive COVID test result last week.
Raikkonen had to sit out of the Dutch GP with Kubica being called up on Saturday to take his place in his first F1 race since 2019. Now a week later will step into the car again at Monza, the track where he took his first F1 podium in only his third race way back in 2006!
“First of all, I want to share my best wishes for Kimi,” he said. “I hope he makes a full recovery and returns to the cockpit soon. 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.”
He did a great job to jump into the car on Saturday morning after Kimi’s positive test was announced, and with one practice session, he was already at a very good pace. By the end of that session, for the most part, he was matching Giovinazzi’s pace, who’d had two full sessions on Friday as well.
Robert called the race his best in F1 for about 11 years and enjoyed it much more than his 2019 stint with Williams, which he simply called “survival”. He needs to be up to speed very quickly at Monza, too, because of the return of F1’s Sprint format!
The teams and drivers will only have one practice session before going straight into knockout qualifying on Friday evening. Then on Saturday morning, there’ll be another practice session more for long runs with the Sprint in the evening and the race on Sunday.
Kubica didn’t take part in this format when it was first used at Silverstone in July. Therefore it’ll be brand new for him and annoyingly means he has less time to get familiar with the car before a competitive session, but with a full race distance under his belt, he will be in a much better position anyway.