Kimi Raikkonen has revealed a pulled muscle was what led to Marcus Ericsson being called up as a potential replacement for him in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Ericsson was due to race for Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in his the NTT IndyCar Series race at Portland this weekend, but the Alfa Romeo reserve driver was then called upon to travel to Spa-Francorchamps. While SPM believed Ericsson is needed to race, Raikkonen hopes to be fit to take part in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix but says he pulled a muscle in his left leg playing sport.
“I would say it’s been getting better so we will see how it is,” Raikkonen said. “I don’t know, we will find out tomorrow (in practice).
“If you want to put that it’s not one hundred percent, you can put whatever number you like. Obviously it’s impossible to try — we have simulators and that doesn’t tell an awful lot anyway, so we will see how it is. In my head it should be fine but you never know.
“Better the brake than the throttle. It should be OK. Honestly if it wouldn’t be I wouldn’t even try.”
Although he is confident he will be fit to drive, Raikkonen says it would have been careless for Alfa Romeo not to have Ericsson available given the circumstances.
“Obviously we need to have some back-up plans, it would be stupid not to have our third driver in case I couldn’t be driving in the worst-case scenario. There’s a reason why the team has a third driver if something happens. I think it’s a normal story. It’s a difficult situation for him also because he had a race but that’s how it is.”
Raikkonen also joked that: “Drinking is probably more safe than sport. You don’t get injured, only hung over.”
As first revealed by RACER on Thursday morning, SPM has hired Conor Daly to replace Ericsson at Portland this weekend.