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PKN Orlen joins Kubica at Williams

Polish petrochemicals company PKN Orlen has announced its intention to back Robert Kubica’s return to motorsport’s elite after agreeing a partnership with Formula One motor-racing team Williams.

PKN Orlen will sponsor Williams for the 2019 season after the British team last week confirmed Polish driver Kubica would race alongside British rookie George Russell next campaign.

The 33-year-old is returning to racing in F1 after a highly-promising career was cut short following a near-fatal crash whilst competing in a rallying event in early 2011. Kubica last raced in F1 for Renault in 2010.

Financial terms of the PKN Orlen deal were not disclosed, but it is reported to be worth at least $10m (€8.8m) to Williams.

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

Daniel Obajtek, chief executive 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.”