Ericsson, who has remained Alfa’s reserve after losing his race seat with what was then at the end of last season, is skipping this weekend’s Portland IndyCar round to be present at Spa.

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Sources had suggested this was due to a specific concern over whether Raikkonen would be available for the race.

The Finn confirmed this was the case in the Spa paddock on Thursday.

“I pulled a muscle and we will see how it is,” said Raikkonen. We need to have some back-up plan. In my head it should be fine but you never know.”

Raikkonen did not elaborate on how he had sustained the injury.

Ericsson is bidding to secure a new deal to continue in IndyCar for 2020, but skipping the Portland race for an unnecessary appearance at Spa represents a frustrating interruption to his efforts in the United States.

Ericsson will be replaced in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports IndyCar line-up by Conor Daly for this weekend’s race.

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