Williams logo, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Williams says departing title sponsor Martini will be replaced

2018 F1 season

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Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams says she isn’t concerned about replacing title sponsor Martini when it leaves at the end of 2018.

The drinks brand, which has a long association with motor racing, has appeared on the F1 teams’ cars since 2014.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with RaceFans Williams said the team is “not worried about Martini leaving.”

“Obviously it’s a shame that they are. Genuinely I feel that, because they were very generous in coming in and supporting the team in 2013 when we were ninth in the championship.

“Not only have they brought the financial support that’s been so important, but they’ve also given us a refreshed and youthful identity, and we were really looking for that. And people bought into it. They are part of the Williams family. So to lose them is bad from our perspective, but we will replace them.”

However Williams said their replacement will not not necessarily be another title sponsor.

“I don’t care if it’s a title sponsor that comes in to replace them or it’s 10 partners that give us a million quid each. As long as we have the budget to go racing, then that’s all that matters.

“This gives us an opportunity. If a title partner comes in and wants to be a title partner, fantastic, but if it doesn’t, we’re a strong enough brand to be able to stand on our own two feet.”

Read our full exclusive interview with Claire Williams tomorrow on RaceFans

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Williams says departing title sponsor Martini will be replaced”

  1. I hope this is not a terminal phase in Williams decline……

    This feels like it is going to be one long hard season for them……..

  2. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    17th April 2018, 18:23

    Hire Kubica and get a Polish sponsor?

    1. Like Brasso?

      1. Armour All?

    2. Mothers Polish.

  3. “Williams-Stroll Racing”

    1. “Williams-Out for a Stroll Racing”


  4. This wouldn’t worry all that much normally, but the fact that they employ two pay drivers means that they’re obviously in a worse situation than Claire Williams has let on. I’m sure papa Stroll will make up the difference if they can’t sign a big money sponsor, but that’ll likely come with the caveat that Lance stays number one driver for the next 3 years.

    1. Then they could hire me as number 2, I can totally finish last

      1. So could I, but they need their #2 to finish at least 17th. Lance has got last covered, pending retirements and the inevitable Brendon Hartley penalty.

  5. they were very generous in coming in and supporting the team in 2013 when we were ninth in the championship.

    They might now need a sponsor even more ‘generous’.

  6. I can’t help but feel, putting one rookie under-25 year old in the car with Lance Stroll sawing at the wheel in the other one won’t have been too appealing to the Martini brand.
    Get Kobayashi back and Asahi Super Dry on those cars!

    1. Doubt he’d be interested in coming back. He’s got a factory drive, and will be on good money and he’s actually got a shot at winning Le Mans this year. :)

    2. More likely that it was always intended to be a five-year deal.

    3. i cannot help but feel that williams lost martini because they did not respect them, and the no driver under 25 clause. remember tag heuer left mclaren over a row with ron dennis about putting female models in the cars for a photo session. claire is a dangerous figure in the paddock, full of questionable politics and equally inexperienced management decisions. now she is moaning about williams closing without a cost cap and looking to use her privileged role to affect the whole of f1 over her lack of business and racing acumen.

  7. Is maldonado coming back?

    1. wow, Maldonado was a prince compared to the incredible hulk

  8. Well, what do they expect? To be honest Williams should start building road cars.

    What can the title sponsors get from drivers this uninspiring.

    1. Claire can hardly manage the team as is, in addition to the conflicts of interest in her own life, (ie. married to Lance Strolls agent), so unless she gets a divorce and marries an Agnelli instead, I do not see road cars in their future either.

  9. The problem is, departing Williams fans will be much harder to replace.

    1. Then they are not really fans aren’t they? a true fan stays even in hard times, hell i have been a sauber fan since 99

      1. No, true fans stay with their team… Williams is not the team that once was anymore though. The decisions made by the people running this team in recent years are just horrendous. This is now just money bag with no soul of the old Williams team left. I’d be fine with them struggling here and there and not be at the sharp end of the field anymore. In my eyes though, they lost their “racers” instinct and the recent driver’s signing shown everyone how it’s all about the money. Just compare them to FI that despite smaller budget at least employes great drivers. They want to race, not just survive.

  10. Has nobody else noticed the increasing presence of Laurence Stroll, d.b.a. “Tommy Hilfiger”, on the Mercedes? This is Laurence Stroll exploring what it will take to get Lance into the second seat at Mercedes. Perhaps $40 million per year of personal funds plus another $40 million per year from Tommy Hilfiger as title sponsor would do it I’d think.

    1. I doubt Mercedes will let Lance touch their cars with a ten foot pole unless they’re suddenly in dire need of money. Mercedes has the luxury of being able to choose their drivers based on performance. Toto and co. have seen what Lance can currently do. I’m fairly sure they’d take an overly cautious Bottas over a guy who’d struggle to score points in a top tier car.

  11. SMP Bank (if it’s not a clash with Bank of Mum and Dad)

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