Robert Kubica has joined Alfa Romeo as their reserve driver, as part of a new title sponsorship agreement between PKN Orlen and Alfa.
Alfa Romeo have announced that Robert Kubica will be their reserve driver in 2020. The former Williams driver switches over to the Alfa team, having driven for them before in one of their former guises as BMW Sauber between 2006 and 2009.
Kubica’s appointment has come about as part of an agreed package that sees his personal sponsor PKN Orlen become title sponsors of the Alfa team. PKN Orlen are a Polish energy company that sponsored Williams as Robert Kubica returned to the sport after eight years away through injury. However, a calamitous year of poor performance and results saw Kubica and his sponsor walk away to find new opportunities elsewhere on the grid. They were strongly linked with a similar arrangement with Haas, but this appears to have fallen through. Instead, Orlen have signed a ‘multi-year’ deal with Alfa Romeo.
From this year, the team will be known as Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN. Orlen’s eagle logos will appear all over the C39, including on the front and rear wings, Halo, mirrors and side pods. It will also appear on the chest and backs of the drivers overalls and in three positions on the helmets of every driver. Mechanics and team personnel overalls and clothing will also have the logo, as well as on transports, garage interiors and the motorhome.
“Cooperation with PKN ORLEN has been going well so far and I am glad that we’ll stay together for the next season.” said Robert Kubica. “I am starting this new chapter in my career as I join Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN. This team holds a special place in my heart and I am pleased to see some faces still here from my years in Hinwil. Time and circumstances are obviously different, but I am convinced that I will find the same determination and hunger to succeed. I hope that my experience will allow us to seize the opportunities that await us in the upcoming season.”
This means that Marcus Ericsson’s long-time association with the team and with Formula 1 appears to be over. The Swedish driver now races in IndyCar but continued as Alfa’s reserve driver in 2019 after losing his race seat at the end of 2018.
“The exciting new partnership with PKN ORLEN is a statement of intent for both parties.” said Frederic Vasseur, team boss of Alfa. “It is proof of the ambition of our common project and of our desire to compete at the very top of Formula One. PKN ORLEN support for excellence finds a perfect partner in our team. We are also delighted to welcome Robert Kubica back home and we cannot wait to start working with him. He is a driver that needs no introduction: one of the most brilliant in his generation and one who displayed the true meaning of human determination in his fight to return to racing after his rallying accident. His feedback will be invaluable as we continue to push our team towards the front of the grid.”
“The partnership between PKN ORLEN and Alfa Romeo Racing, together with the remarkable and never-ending support of Alfa Romeo, means we can create a valuable platform not only for the global promotion of our brands but also for Formula One and all automotive fans. We are looking forward to years of success together.”