Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica will return to the cockpit on Friday in Barcelona, but the Pole will also be on duty for two days of testing next week at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Kubica will take over Kimi Raikkonen’s C41 for FP1, reuniting with the car he shook down at Barcelona ahead of the start of the 2021 season.
But the 36-year-old’s valued testing skills and feedback will also be relied upon by Pirelli after the Spanish GP weekend for the F1 tyre supplier’s two-day test of its 18-inch tyres with Alfa Romeo.
“I am looking forward to being in the car again this Friday and next week,” said Kubica.
“Having last driven the C41 in Barcelona in February, I am looking forward to seeing how much the car has progressed since – both in terms of upgrades and in the team’s understanding of the package.
“Driving a Formula 1 car is always a special experience and I’m looking forward to contributing to the team’s effort in the midfield battle.
“Also, getting to drive the new 18-inch tyres will be a new experience and the first taste of the new world that will come into being next year.”
Alfa Romeo Racing team boss Frédéric Vasseur underscored the value of Kubica’s experience and feedback.
“It’s great to have Robert back in the car for his first practice session of the season and for the Barcelona test.
“Each time he gets in the car is valuable for us in order to tap into his extensive experience and get another perspective about the C41.
“His technical feedback will also be crucial in his runs with the 2022 tyres.
“We are in the middle of a very close fight in the midfield and every input from our talented pool of drivers can be the secret weapon that gives us that edge to move forward.”