JANUARY 6, 2020
Sponsor says Kubica involved in Alfa Romeo deal
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 recognisable 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."