The AlphaTauri Formula One team have signed a multi-year partnership with Polish oil refiner PKN Orlen.
- Orlen steps in as principal partner of the Faenza-based team
- The company's logo will be visible across the car, notably on the rear wing, as well as the driver apparel
Context: This is not the first time AlphaTauri has paired up with an oil and gas company on their rear wing, with Spanish brand Cepsa partnering with the team when it was called Toro Rosso between 2012 and 2015. Orlen will replace Honda on the rear wing, branding that has been present for the past two seasons thanks to Honda's engine supply deal to both Red Bull-backed teams, an agreement that is in place until 2025.
Wherever the Polish brand goes, Robert Kubica likely follows. The brand sponsored Williams in 2019 when he made his miraculous return to Formula One after nine years out of the sport, before becoming title sponsor at Alfa Romeo for the past three seasons where Kubica was reserve driver.
Comment: Franz Tost, team principal of AlphaTauri, said: “Orlen [is] one of the leading oil and gas companies in Central Europe and this partnership will allow them to further increase [its] brand awareness, through the global platforms we offer as a team. I’m looking forward to seeing [its] logo featured on our new car at the launch in New York City next month and also how this partnership progresses over the coming years.”
Consequence: This is the first true sign of independence for a team so often tied to the bigger, more successful Red Bull Racing outfit. If you consider Honda as part of the Red Bull family thanks to its close proximity to the Red Bull Powertrains programme, then this is only the second non-Red Bull brand to feature on the rear wing of the car. Even then, Cepsa supported the career of Red Bull junior Carlos Sainz Jr., helping him to get a seat at the team in 2015.