Kimi Raikkonen says a leg injury has resulted in Alfa Romeo placing Marcus Ericsson on standby for Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Ericsson is present in Belgium to carry out his third driver duties for Alfa Romeo this weekend, after Raikkonen pulled a muscle in his left leg while playing sport during the summer break.

Reports surfaced on Thursday morning suggesting that Ericsson had been drafted in to drive for Alfa Romeo this weekend, though the team were quick to deny the Swede would race in place of either Raikkonen or teammate Antonio Giovinazzi.

Raikkonen is set to take part in Friday’s practice sessions to evaluate whether he can continue for the rest of the weekend, but insisted he should be fine.

“I pulled a muscle and that’s about it - we will see what happens,” Raikkonen told media gathered in the Spa paddock on Thursday.

“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.”

Asked how he had sustained the injury, Raikkonen replied: “Sport. I always said it is more dangerous - drinking is probably safer.

“Usually you don’t get injured, you just get hungover.”

Ericsson, who is contesting the IndyCar Series this year, has had to pull out of this weekend’s race at Portland in order to be at Spa. He will be replaced by Conor Daly in Schmidt Peterson Motorsports line-up.