In front of a number of Polish fans, Robert Kubica will stand in for Kimi Raikkonen in FP1 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
It was already going to be a special weekend for Kubica with Alfa Romeo setting up special fan zones for the many Poles that will attend given it’s the closest race on the calendar to their home country.
He’ll now give them something to cheer about on-track too as he fills for Raikkonen for the entirety of Friday morning.
“It’s always great to be back in the car, especially so in Budapest which is the closest race to Poland on the calendar,” he said.
“There are always a lot of Polish fans on the stands and I know there will be a lot of flags to welcome me when I head of out the garage on Friday.
“Of course, once you’re in the car, the focus is on doing the best possible job for the team and on helping our engineers with the set-up of the car.
“The margins are really small in the midfield so every improvement can be crucial.”
— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) July 28, 2021
Kubica has had more on-track action at race weekends this season than any other test and reserve driver, also standing in for practice sessions in Spain and Austria.
Team principal Frederick Vasseur says that the work that the Pole does has been a key reason for their progress this season as they’ve gained ground on the midfield pack ahead of them.
“Robert has done a really good job for the team so far this season and we’re excited to see him back in the car in Budapest,” he said.
“His technical feedback has really helped us in setting up the car and we are confident he can help us extracting even more from our package as the season progresses.”
It was at the Hungaroring that Kubica started his comeback back in 2017 as he drove a Formula 1 car in an official session for the first time in eight years during mid-season testing for Renault. He last took to track there last season, in free practice on the race weekend.