Williams have been handed a severe sponsorship blow my Martini as they will not be renewing their sponsorship deal at the end of their five year deal(in 2018).
Martini had last backed an F1 team in 1979 and brought back fond memories of the ever so aesthetic white, blue and red colour scheme when they had signed up to become title sponsors of Williams in 2018.
However, the Martini strategic team has decided to end their relationship with Williams following the end of their deal in 2018.
“We have discussed extending beyond 2018.” said Claire Williams, the Williams deputy team principal.
“While we would both like to do so, the Bacardi Group have told us that they will step away entirely from Formula 1 when our contract expires at the end of this year.
“They have many brands to support and obviously their strategic priorities evolve over time.” he added.
Martini pulling out would come asa jolt to Williams, however they seem pretty financially stable with Acronis coming in asa new brand this season. Also, the current sponsor portfolio that the team has is strong enough and wouldn’t let Williams go into any kind of financial strain.
There was a ‘passing notion’ that suggested that Williams’ current drivers, both of whom are below the age of 25 could be the reason for Martini pulling the plug on the deal, however, no confirmation regarding that has been provided. And it seems like it is a plain and simple strategic move on the part of the Bacardi Group.
Martini would be celebrating the 50th year of Martini racing this year, working with all three Williams drivers(which includes the reserve driver Robert Kubica) as well.
The Williams authorities couldn’t talk much about the deal or their financial status with respect to the deal as the team was publicly listed.