Polish oil company PKN Orlen will terminate its contract with Formula One team Williams Racing at the end of the 2019-20 season.
The decision was made public by PKN Orlen after Williams announced that Polish driver Robert Kubica will leave the team following the end of the current campaign.
PKN Orlen cited Kubica’s imminent departure as the key factor in its decision not to renew with Williams.
Motorsport will remain a key part of PKN Orlen’s strategy to expand globally with Kubica remaining central to its plans, the company said. The experienced driver is a star attraction in Poland as the country’s only ever Formula One participant.
Daniel Obajtek, chief executive and president of the PKN Orlen management board said: “PKN Orlen’s presence in Formula One has produced tangible benefits for our image and business. When we first began cooperation with Robert, we declared that we would stand by him regardless of circumstances, which is why he will remain a member of the Orlen Team.
‘’At present, together with Robert we are considering various scenarios for the next season to choose the one most favourable to both parties. Our intention is to remain in Formula 1, reinforcing international recognition of the Orlen brand, especially in those markets where we operate our retail network.”
It remains unclear whether Kubica will remain in motorsport as a driver for the 2020-21 season. However, PKN Orlen has indicated it is already in advanced discussions with other teams regarding a sponsorship deal.