Robert Kubica, Alfa Romeo, Fiorano ,2020

Kubica will be first to drive new Alfa Romeo in testing

2020 F1 season

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Robert Kubica will be the first driver at the wheel of Alfa Romeo’s new F1 car when pre-season testing begins at the Circuit de Catalunya tomorrow.

The former Williams racer, who has joined Alfa Romeo as its reserve driver this year, will begin official testing for the team on Wednesday morning.

The C39 was already shaken down by Kimi Raikkonen in a filming day at Fiorano last week. Kubica will hand over to the team’s other race driver Antonio Giovinazzi for the afternoon.

Raikkonen will have a full day in the car on Thursday, and Giovinazzi will drive the car on Friday. The team is yet to confirm its plans for the second three-day pre-season test next week.

The C39 appeared in a special ‘snakeskin’ testing livery when it ran at Fiorano. The car will be in its regular race livery for the upcoming test session. Alfa Romeo will formally present the new car in the pit lane at the Barcelona circuit at 8:15am tomorrow morning.

Kubica is returning to the team he made his Formula 1 debut with in 2006, when it was owned by BMW and ran under the name BMW Sauber. He drove for them until 2009 and scored his only victory in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix with the team.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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26 comments on “Kubica will be first to drive new Alfa Romeo in testing”

  1. What sense does this make? With reduced testing time, I’d assume Alfa Romeo would want it’s current drivers on maximum availability. Or is it the money talking…
    I just hope he does not bin it and cause major damage.

    1. haters gonna hate. what is the point of having test drivers if they cant test? you can apply your argument to all the f1 teams that will run their test drivers in this test.

    2. i suspect you answered your own question in the third sentence…

  2. What can you get for $20m?

    Half a day in a F1 car, subject to it not breaking down or you putting it into the fence.

    Don’t forget the book of excuses, Robert.

  3. Kimi doesn’t need to test – Kimi knows how to drive.

  4. The team will be expecting a crash and re-build halfway through the morning. Very testing for the nerves.

  5. While the initial reaction is “Wow, the cheque must’ve been worth it”, the reality is this isn’t a cushty job.

    Day 1 is where the car, if it’s going to break down, will break down. The car will not be running in anger for a couple of days at least and if you’re Williams, may not run at all.

    It’ll be a shakedown and systems test at best and frankly, why waste time with your main drivers, if you can get someone who wants to pay to continue driving?

    Sounds like a win win to me.

  6. wow this community is harsh on Kubica…

    1. Are you really that surprised? The community which fervently defends their one and only chosen star, no matter the obvious conflicts between their acts and words, has no compassion or words of admiration left in them for someone else.

      1. @pironitheprovocateur is that star sainz?
        Just messing with the provocateur.

    2. Still and always will be a Kubica fan. The fact the he’s turning a wheel is a miracle. If he wants to pay for shakedown laps (as @stopitrawr mentioned), that’s perfect for the team.

      1. …Until he bins it…

  7. Stefano, don’t forget it’s the Internet, everyone here is an expert and their opinion really matters.
    Bring on tomorrow!

  8. What a lot of negative responses! I think it’s great for Robert and a smart move by Sauber; Kubica is extremely experienced and is known to be a great test-driver.

    1. Alfa Romeo need feedback from experienced drivers. If they really think about setting up car to be competitive. At Williams testing was pointless because team never wanted nor been capable to improve. They dismissed all Kubicas advice and how it ended will all seen last season.

  9. I just wonder what Kubica gets out of this. After actually racing in F1 for a whole season, getting a few hours to shakedown an F1 car shouldn’t be worth millions.

    1. RK gets paid for this and remains present within F1. Team gets lots of data and it’s actually better if the simulator driver gets to test it on real car. This works two ways as simulator can be adjusted/worked on as well as the real car. Kimi is not fan of testing, and he’ll be fine. Giovinazzi will not lose his testing time – I guess. So everyone should be happy. Fingers crossed for Alpha Romeo.

  10. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    18th February 2020, 15:05

    The real positive to this, is we’ll get to see how Kubica compares with Kimi and Gio. Last year he got pretty thoroughly beaten by an unknown quantity in Russell. After this test we might have an inkling of correlation to how good (or not) Russell really is.

    1. Cristiano Ferreira
      18th February 2020, 20:56

      We won’t see anything because they are testing different things. If Sauber set up the car to do quali laps and Kubica is the one to drive, of course he will be faster than Kimi or Gio if they are going to do race simulation laps. Its difficult to get an idea out of these tests.

  11. What I found weird in this is the behavior of the sponsors. I can’t imagine the Orlen executive in a serious meeting saying something like:
    “TV ads? No. What makes sense to promote our brand is to pay 10 millions for a polish driver do some shake-down laps, appear in team pictures and drive in a simulator where no one can see him.”

  12. C’mon guys, seriously that’s all you got to say about Robert Kubica…? Unbelievable…

  13. Pay “drivers” are just horrible.

  14. Its almost as if people on here haven’t observed a pre-season test. As a test driver, it would be beneficial for Kubica to get a feel for the actual car considering he will be doing a lot of work in the simulator.

    Plus, we should note that Sauber were quite late in getting a simulator, I believe it was quite recent? So the data/reference points the get the better!

  15. Why not having a third driver giving his opinion? Even if Kubica can’t drive at top, he have experience and knowledge to give an opinion.

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