November 29, 2018 / 10:32 AM / 16 days ago

Polish oil company PKN Orlen to sponsor Williams

FILE PHOTO: The newly announced Williams Martini Racing driver for the 2017 season Lance Stroll attends a media conference at their base in Wantage, Britain November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Polish oil company PKN Orlen is to sponsor Williams following the Formula One team’s signing of Robert Kubica as a driver for next season.

The former champions, who finished 10th and last overall this year, announced the deal on Thursday, with PKN’s branding to be prominent on the car as well as helmets, team overalls and apparel.

No financial details were given, although media reports have suggested the deal was worth at least $10 million to Williams.

“With the team having just announced Robert Kubica as a race driver for 2019, the only Pole to have participated in Formula One, we want to accompany him on his journey back to the top.” company chief executive Daniel Obajtek said in the statement.

Williams, who last won a race in 2012, parted company with title sponsor Martini after the season-ending grand prix in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

Kubica, a 2008 race winner in Canada with BMW Sauber, is returning after an eight-year absence caused by a near-fatal rally crash in early 2011 that partially-severed his right forearm.

The 33-year-old, who last raced in 2010 for Renault, will partner British rookie and Formula Two champion George Russell.

State-run PKN are Poland’s largest oil refiner.

(This story has been refilled to correct spelling of company CEO’s surname, para four)

Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by John O'Brien

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