Williams confirms deal with Kubica backers PKN Orlen

Poland’s leading fuel and energy corporation PKN Orlen will have major branding presence on the Williams FW42 to be driven by Robert Kubica and George Russell in the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship.

PKN Orlen, who are backing Kubica’s return to the Formula 1 grid, are reportedly dishing out around $25-million (of the $30-million) required for two seasons with the team so that Poland’s favourite race driver can prove he still has the right stuff for the top flight.

Kubica’s well-documented journey from nearly severing his arm in a rally accident in 2011 to a seat in F1 in 2019, is the stuff of legend. Only time will tell if this will have a ‘lived happily ever after’ ending or not…

There were several pay drivers with an eye on the Williams seat, others in the loop included the likes of Esteban Ocon, Artem Markelov, Sergey Sirotkin and even Sergio Perez at one stage.

With Formula 2 Champion Russell chosen on merit by the Grove outfit, they made it clear a driver with a budget was required as the team’s title sponsor Martini have now departed, thus the combination of Kubica and PKN Orlen ticked all the right boxes.

Press Release:

Williams Racing has today announced a partnership with PKN Orlen, a leading player in the fuels and energy market.

PKN Orlen prides itself on innovation and technology whilst retaining a strong focus on value creation. The customer-orientated petrochemical business is present in over 90 countries, spread across six continents.

As part of the agreement, PKN Orlen will have branding on the rear wing, nose, intake system and both mirrors of the FW42. In addition, their logo will appear on the drivers’ helmets, driver and mechanics overalls and on team kit.

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, commented, “We are pleased to announce that PKN Orlen will partner Williams Martini Racing for the 2019 season. Williams stands for technology, innovation and top-class engineering, and these synergies with PKN Orlen will help drive our partnership forward.”

Daniel Obajtel, CEO and President of the Management Board of PKN Orlen said, “Cooperation between PKN Orlen and Williams Martini Racing starts a new era for motorsports in Poland, as well as building the global reach of our brand. It is worth remembering that Orlen Group has assets in five countries in Europe and North America today. Our products are available in over 90 countries around the world. This means that we are looking for global communication channels to establish an international position. Involvement in Formula One racing is one of the most effective ways to promote our brand through sports sponsorship, and we are delighted to be entering the sport with Williams. With the team having just announced Robert Kubica as a race driver for 2019, the only Pole to have participated in Formula One, we want to accompany him on his journey back to the top.”

Williams confirm Robert Kubica!