Robert Kubica will serve as Alfa Romeo's reserve driver for the 2020 season.

Kubica returned to the top level of motorsport in 2019 after eight years away, having suffered a massive rallying crash in 2011 that left him with a partially severed arm.

The Pole partnered George Russell for an uncompetitive Williams car, Kubica claiming their sole point of the season as the team almost exclusively occupied the back row.

Outqualified by Russell at all 21 races, Kubica was replaced by Nicholas Latifi at Williams for 2020.

However, he will return to the team that gave him his F1 bow in 2006. Kubica made his debut when the team was known as BMW Sauber and he claimed a pole in Bahrain and a win in Canada for them in 2008.

Kubica's return was revealed in an announcement confirming Polish petroleum company PKN ORLEN will link-up with Alfa Romeo as a title sponsor.

Team principal Frederic Vasseur said: "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.

"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."

Robert Kubica is hoping to balance a Formula One support role with a seat in the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) after leaving Williams.

Kubica, who suffered a career-threatening injury in a crash in 2011, restarted his F1 career in 2019 by joining up with Williams, but announced his decision to leave the team after one season back in September.

The Pole has taken just one point this season and sits 19th, with only his Williams team-mate George Russell below him in the F1 standings.

Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will mean a farewell to F1 in a racing capacity for Kubica – temporarily at least – though the 34-year-old has confirmed he is keen to stay in the competition, with talks underway with both Racing Point and Haas over a development role. 

However, a sponsorship arrangement with his backers PKN Orlen also has to be factored into negotiations.

"The decision from my side has been taken," Kubica said of his future. "I don't want to go too much into the details now. It's a bit more complicated stuff and we have to make sure we make it work from different perspectives and different points.

"I'm pretty optimistic and, although not everything depends from my side and it has been more complicated because I would like to combine different programmes, it requires a bit more work and [further] compromises.

"My racing programme is 100 per cent up to me. My F1 role, of course there is a second part, which is Orlen. They would like to stay in Formula 1 and we want to see if we can match everything together as it would be beneficial for everyone. 

"I'm looking for a big challenge, and definitely DTM, which is the [series which has the] highest probability that I will be racing in, it's probably the toughest championship apart from Formula One in Europe.

"Let's put it this way, if I manage to race there, I would be happy with it. If we manage to combine a few things to make everybody happy, I'm open to this."

Kubica's Williams seat will be taken by current Formula Two driver Nicholas Latifi, who has been promoted from the team's reserve.

The Formula One grid for next season is complete after Williams confirmed their reserve driver Nicholas Latifi will replace Robert Kubica.

Latifi is to step up from Formula Two to make his F1 debut in 2020 after Kubica decided to vacate his seat following the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend. 

Canadian Latifi, who has also been a test driver for Renault and Force India, is second in the F2 championship with one round to go.

The 24-year-old had been expected to partner George Russell next year and his promotion was announced by the British team on Friday.

"I am thrilled to be stepping up as Race Driver for 2020,” said Latifi.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the team this year, supporting them with the development of the car, and assisting wherever I can trackside and at the factory.

"I look forward to the journey ahead with the team, and I am excited to make my Formula One debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2020."

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said: "I am delighted to announce that Nicholas will be stepping up to the role of race driver to partner George in 2020.

"All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what he has achieved this year in FIA Formula Two, along with his commitment to the team, and the work that he has put in behind the scenes.

"Nicholas has become an established and well-respected member of Williams, and we look forward to him stepping up into this new role, as we look to fight our way back to the midfield."

 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.