Formula 1

Kubica to Continue as Alfa Romeo Reserve as PKN ORLEN Extend Title Partnership

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Credit: Antonin Vincent / DPPI

Robert Kubica looks set to maintain his position as the reserve driver for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN after PKN ORLEN extended their partnership with the team into 2022.

PKN ORLEN joined the team as lead sponsor in 2020, with Kubica joining the team as a reserve driver as part of the deal. The Polish racer has competed in a handful of free practice sessions and test days as part of his role, and he stood in for Kimi Räikkönen in this years Dutch and Italian Grand Prix as the Finn tested positive for COVID-19.

Frédéric Vasseur, the Team Principal of the Hinwil-based team, has welcomed the news that the partnership will continue in 2022, and he says PKN ORLEN wanting to stay shows that Alfa Romeo are on their way to being a team that can attract big name companies to their Formula 1 team.

“We are delighted to extend our successful partnership with PKN ORLEN into its third year,” said 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.”

Daniel Obajtek, the President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN, says the partnership continues to be a strategic investment for the company, and the markets that Formula 1 has introduced to the company made the decision to remain as sponsor for 2022 an easy one.

“We operate globally and so we must be active in all areas, including planning marketing and sponsoring initiatives,” said Obajtek.  “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.”

Kubica will likely share driving duties in 2022 with Sauber Junior Team racer Théo Pourchaire, who is set to ramp up his own development programme as he looks set to remain in FIA Formula 2 for a second season with ART Grand Prix.

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