Kubica made two race starts for the team this year as a substitute for Kimi Raikkonen, who missed the Dutch and Italian grands prix after contracting Covid-19. The one-time F1 race winner also made three appearances in practice sessions, performed the team’s first shakedown of its C41 at the start of the year and drove in its 18-inch tyre test for Pirelli.
Alfa Romeo is the only team on the grid which will have a completely new driver line-up next year. Raikkonen is heading into retirement and will be replaced by current Mercedes Valtteri Bottas.
Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou will also arrive in place of Antonio Giovinazzi. The experienced Kubica, who made his 99th start for the team this year, will therefore provide useful continuity.
Orlen board president Daniel Obajtek estimated the value of the company’s exposure from television broadcasts through its F1 presence at “over PLN 550 million”, or £89.5m. “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 [£520m] in the third quarter of 2021 and increased its market share in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.”
View the current list of 2022 F1 drivers and teams
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2021 F1 season
- Masi says he received “death threats” over months after Abu Dhabi controversy
- Masi did make mistake with title-deciding Abu Dhabi GP restart, Horner admits
- Williams fined for late submission of budget cap documents
- The omission in the FIA’s Abu Dhabi report which may store up trouble for the future
- New insights but notable omissions in Drive to Survive’s account of F1’s 2021 finale