Robert Kubica retains his reserve role with Alfa Romeo after the deal with PKN ORLEN is extended for the 2022 F1 season.
Having come on board in 2020, PKN ORLEN has featured in the Alfa Romeo team name and on the cars and overalls of the drivers. It extended its deal in 2021 and with the new era of F1 from 2022, it has extended the contract by one more season in the new journey.
The announcement was made in a press conference in Poland where the fuel and lubricants PKN ORLEN is based at. The news also means that Kubica stays on board as the reserve driver in 2022 alongside a new pairing that the team has signed.
Having partnered with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi for two F1 seasons, Kubica will now work with Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou. The Polish driver made his return earlier this year at Zandvoort and Monza after the Finn tested COVID-19 positive.
Alfa Romeo also had Callum Ilott to support Kubica whenever he was racing but for 2022, it remains to be seen if the Brit is retained considering his move to IndyCar. The team is set to have an extended role for Theo Pouchaire, though, with FP1 runs too.
“We are delighted to extend our successful partnership with PKN ORLEN into its third year,” said Frederci Vasseur. “ORLEN are an instantly recognisable brand in a vast and growing market and they have proven a loyal supporter of the team; their presence underlines and reinforces our resolve to be one of the most attractive teams in the sport for global brands.
“Most importantly, we share a commitment to constant improvement, whether on track or in their business, and we are determined to keep growing together. Their activation campaign has been of the first order, reaching fans all over Europe and expanding access to the team and the world of Formula One and we can’t wait to unveil the next stages in this programme.”
At the same time, Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN, added: “We operate globally and so we must be active in all areas, including planning marketing and sponsoring initiatives. The competition on the F1 track is broadcast by 99 televisions, and the total audience, according to research carried out by the Nielsen studio, reaches as many as 400 million viewers.
“The media equivalent for the ORLEN brand from TV broadcast only until November 2021 amounted to over PLN 550 million. Therefore, involvement in cooperation with Robert Kubica and the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team is a strategic investment for us. As a company with an international reach, we have successfully built a common platform for conducting marketing activities in many markets in which we conduct our business. This paid off, the ORLEN Group recorded a net profit of PLN 2.9 billion in the third quarter of 2021 and increased its market share in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.”