Returning to Sauber, the team with whom he began his Formula 1 career, Robert Kubica says he is “finally” back home.
Last season Kubica was back on the Formula 1 grid, racing for Williams.
However, feeling more like a “mobile chicane” than a race driver, he quit the team even though it meant his F1 racing days were over.
Kubica went onto sign a deal with Alfa Romeo, the rebranded Sauber team, to be its reserve driver for the 2020 season.
Speaking to the official F1 website, he said: “When I started my Formula 1 career in 2006, I started in Hinwil [Switzerland] so I am 14 years older – I am in a bit of a different role but it’s nice to see so many of the same faces, same people who actually made everything happen for me.
“A lot of things have changed because F1 has changed actually, quite a lot, and the team is developing but the DNA of the team is still the same. I’m finally back home and I hope we have a good year.”
His new role meant the Polish driver was the first to put the Alfa Romeo C39 through its paces in pre-season testing.
He covered 59 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday morning with a best time of 1:18.386, just 1.4s shy of Lewis Hamilton’s pace-setting time.
“Regarding my position, my role at the team is of course a bit different, but actually in 2006 I started as a reserve driver, though at that time testing was practically every week so I had a bit more time, or much more time, in the car.
“As a reserve driver I will have a few duties, not racing, but it doesn’t mean I will be on holiday. I will attend probably most of the races or nearly all races as a reserve driver so in case, hopefully not, something happens to Kimi [Raikkonen] or Antonio [Giovinazzi], I will step up.
“[The] simulator is quite a big topic in current Formula 1 times where testing is limited,” he added, “the simulator is playing quite a big role and is taking a lot of time and a lot of effort. We have a new simulator, we try to develop it to make it work and hopefully it will give us a good tool to prepare for races, and be beneficial.”