Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur eyes different role for Robert Kubica


Robert Kubica could be in line for a different role at Alfa Romeo than his current role as test and reserve driver.

The Pole has close ties with the Swiss-based team with which, when he was named BMW in 2008, Kubica took both the team victory and his own Formula 1 victory at the Canadian Grand Prix of that year.

After joining Renault in 2010, Kubica spent a season with the French manufacturer before suffering serious arm injuries in a rally crash in February 2011 that looked like the end of his F1 career at its peak.

But he returned to rallying two years later and reignited his Formula 1 aspirations by becoming a Williams test driver in 2018, racing a full season for the Grove team alongside George Russell the following year and scoring a point at the German Grand Prix.

Since then, the 37-year-old has been with Alfa Romeo, which has Polish oil company Orlen as its title sponsor, taking part in several test sessions – his next will be at the French Grand Prix – and has also raced in the Netherlands. Bas and the Netherlands 2021. Italian Grands Prix when Kimi Raikkonen was sidelined with Covid.

Alfa Romeo now have F2 prodigy Theo Pourchaire knocking on the door for a seat, while current racers Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu have both impressed this year, so Kubica’s future as the team’s driver is uncertain.

Team principal Fred Vasseur, however, sees potential for Kubica to be brought into the operation elsewhere.

“I hope so,” said the Frenchman, as quoted by “But I don’t know what position he could be in.

“I trust him, although dealing with him is not always easy, but that’s normal for a racing driver.

“For Sauber, Robert was probably one of the most iconic guys because he won the race for Sauber in Canada.

“He has spent a few years with us now and I would like to find a solution for a possible collaboration in the future. But I don’t have any ideas yet.

Vasseur pointed out that despite Kubica’s close ties to Orlen, he should be divorced from being seen as a mere mascot for the Plock-based oil refiner.

“He’s not the sponsor, after all,” Vasseur added. “Of course we have to be aware that it is important for Orlen that Robert is involved in some way and is part of the team. But he is doing a great job.

“He has very good technical feedback and for us it’s always a good thing to have a different point of view on what we’re doing. Also, he’s always constructive once he does free practice. [session].”

Vasseur and Kubica’s careers have sometimes run parallel and the Frenchman reflected on some of their most positive moments, including the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix.

“In those two exceptional situations he proved his class,” Vasseur said of the two races Kubica entered last season, finishing 15th and 14th.

“In Zandvoort, we only told him to drive the car on Saturday morning. I remember he fought with [Sebastian] Vettel for 10 laps and overtook him as well. It was a mega performance.

“For me, he’s just special because I spent most of my career with Robert and fought alongside him. When I was at Renault, I asked him to come to Renault and drive single-seaters again.

“I first gave him the opportunity to test the simulator because I was convinced, and still am, that Robert is a very special man.”


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