Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica will take part in Friday’s opening practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix as he returns to cockpit of Formula 1 machinery.

Kubica previously completed practice outings for Alfa Romeo earlier in the season at rounds in Austria, Hungary and Great Britain and will make his fourth FP1 appearance of 2020 at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.

The 35-year-old Pole will take the place of Kimi Raikkonen as he returns to action in the C39 for the first 90-minute practice session of the weekend.

Kubica has spent his 2020 dovetailing his Alfa Romeo reserve driver commitments alongside a campaign in the DTM, where he finished 15th in the standings with 20 points to his name driving for ART Grand Prix’s BMW squad.

“I am very pleased to be back in the driving seat for the first time since August,” said Kubica. “It may sound like a long time, but my season has been really busy with my simulator work at the factory and my DTM programme, so it actually felt like it went quite quickly.

“Now that my DTM season is over, I am keen to get back into my Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN role full time: there is still a lot to fight for and I am confident my work will make a positive contribution to the team’s efforts.”

Kubica will continue to work with the Swiss outfit across the opening Bahrain weekend, assisting with the team in engineering briefings and other technical meetings.

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur said the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner’s experience and contribution will prove valuable to the team.

“We are all pleased to see Robert get back in the car for FP1,” he said.

“His contribution to the team has been important so far this season and to be able to get the most of his experience and skills here in Bahrain is going to help the team continue its current path of progression. Sakhir is a circuit he knows really well and this will really help our work this weekend.”