Kubica joins Alfa Romeo team as Reserve Driver (Update)

The eagle soars as PKN ORLEN joins Alfa Romeo Racing as Official Co-Title Sponsor
The eagle soars as PKN ORLEN joins Alfa Romeo Racing as Official Co-Title Sponsor

UPDATE (GMM) Robert Kubica will have an important role at Alfa Romeo in 2020, the Polish driver's sponsor PKN Orlen has announced.

On New Year's Day, it was revealed that Orlen, the Polish oil company, would switch from Williams to a major sponsorship role at Alfa Romeo for 2020.

"We were not a title sponsor before, but now we are," Orlen president Daniel Obajtek told TVP Sport.

"The car will be in red and white, making Orlen more recognizable and this is good also for Poland."

Kubica, who looks set to combine his Alfa Romeo role with a race seat in the German touring car series DTM, will be reserve driver.

"Robert was involved in these negotiations and the contract was done with his approval," Obajtek said.

"This is a proposal he agrees with, but we also have other ideas that we want to implement in 2020. This is not our last announcement."

It is believed he could be referring to Friday morning driving duties for Kubica, but Obajtek also suggested Orlen could one day set up its own F1 team.

"Everything is within our dreams," he said. "It depends on economic successes but it is possible that the time will come for us to undertake such a project."

Obajtek admitted that Orlen negotiated with "three teams" for 2020. The other two have been reported as being Racing Point and Haas.

"The negotiations showed us that we are a company that matters. The interest was high but Alfa's offer was the most optimal for us," he said.

"It has a business nature, but I cannot reveal too much. But through the agreement, we have the opportunity for Polish drivers to be trained by the Alfa academy so that we can find Robert's successors."

A new look for Alfa Romeo cars in 2020
A new look for Alfa Romeo cars in 2020

01/01/20 Alfa Romeo Racing is pleased to announce that PKN ORLEN will join the team as Official Co-Title Sponsor starting from the 2020 season thanks to a multi-year major partnership.

The Polish petroleum giant, a company with an extensive presence in its home country, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania and Canada, will assume co-title sponsor rights at Alfa Romeo Racing, which will now compete as Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN. PKN ORLEN branding will feature on the team’s C39 car and on all team trackside assets, with an exciting program of fan engagement – to be announced ahead of the 2020 season – as a key element of this partnership.

The partnership will also see Robert Kubica return to the team that gave him his Formula One debut and first win as he joins Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN in a reserve driver role for the 2020 season.

With the continued support of Alfa Romeo, which since 2018 has been instrumental to the team’s rise, the new partnership will empower Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN to make the next crucial step forward on the Formula One grid in the 2020 season and beyond.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: “The exciting new partnership with PKN ORLEN is a statement of intent for both parties. 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 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."

Daniel Obajtek, CEO and President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board: “In sport as in business, consistency is crucial. When last year we supported the return of Robert Kubica to Formula 1, we knew that we were creating the history of sport, but we were also opening a new chapter in the history of ORLEN brand. Last season has exceeded our expectations in the context of the benefits obtained through the presence in the most prestigious races in the world. The sheer value of our logo after 16 races exceeded 110 million PLN. We also significantly increased the profits of the retail network. Building global brand recognition has also allowed us to start the co-branding process, under which all European stations of our network will ultimately operate under one brand. Today we are taking another important step on this path by associating ourselves with a team that has enormous tradition and history. Robert Kubica, one of the fastest drivers in the world, remains our ambassador."

Robert Kubica, reserve driver Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN: “I am really happy to be 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 am looking forward to helping Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN make the next step forward."

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