Williams on brink of announcing Martini title sponsor deal for 2014 and beyond

Carlos Pace in the Martini backed Brabham BT44B

Carlos Pace in the Martini backed Brabham BT44B

Word has leaked out that Martini will be the title sponsor of the Williams team for the 2014 season and beyond.

Reports have emerged in Italy linking Martini – through their Martini Racing banner – with Williams, thus marking a return to Formula 1 by the stylish drinks brand, which has previously sponsored Brabham and Lotus in the seventies, and more recently had a minor partnership with Ferrari.

It is expected that Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas will unveil the Martini Williams Mercedes FW36 on the morning of 28 January at Jerez, before the first day of testing gets underway.

Williams has pre-empted the launch by releasing graphic renderings of the FW36, in all blue and only featuring the Williams name on the rear wing and  side pods, but devoid of any sponsor logos.

Mario Andretti in the Martini backed Lotus in 1979

Mario Andretti in the Martini backed Lotus in 1979 – their last year as title sponsor in F1

Martini Racing’s association with Formula 1  began in 1972 with the Italian team Tecno. However, the car was uncompetitive and Martini withdrew at the end of the 1973 season.

Martini returned  in 1975, sponsoring Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham team. The initial colour scheme incorporated the Martini colours atop a white background, on the Cosworth powered Brabham BT44B in 1975.

The Alfa Romeo flat-V12 powered Brabham BT45 and Brabham BT45B were used for the 1976 and 1977 seasons, where the Martini colours appeared on a dark red background.

For the 1979 season, the Martini sponsorship moved to Team Lotus. In spite of having the 1978 Championship winning Lotus 79 and Mario Andretti and Carlos Reutemann as drivers, the Martini Lotus association did not achieve a single win and by the end of the year, and Martini withdrew from F1 once more.

Martini Williams fact or fiction?

Martini Williams fact or fiction?

After a long break from F1, the Italian company returned in 2006 by sponsoring Scuderia Ferrari with a minor presence.

Martini Racing’s real success came as a long term sponsor of Porsche and their record breaking Le Mans campaigns, along with Lancia in sportscar racing as well as in rallying.

Martini is a brand of Italian vermouth, named after the Martini & Rossi Distilleria Nazionale di Spirito di Vino, but now owned by Bermuda based Bacardi Limited. (GP247)

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  • Editor

    Have removed image until permission granted.

  • The Pessimist

    Most deals in Formula one these days whether it’s drivers or teams are multi year contracts but with a big exclamation mark.

  • bub

    Lesh drink to it……hic!

  • Stevie Speed

    Hey, Williams have been on the rocks for years! 😉

  • Dean C

    Since Claire Williams has started to run the team, it appears to be going from strength to strength. Going to watch Williams more closely this season.

  • Dean C

    That should be… since she is deputy!!

  • Stevie Speed

    @Dean C – There’s something about Claire Williams (I think it’s the “power”) that makes me go purple in all 3 sectors!

  • charles

    Happy for Williams.

  • StevetheGreat

    Great for F1 and Williams!!!!

    Too bad the 2014 regulations suck so bad!!!

  • Jim

    Who cares who the sponsor is, the car looks hideous.

    An embarrassment to look at.

  • Always loved motor racing

    Shaken not stirred !

  • Len Lichter

    You can post any Martini related stories an mainly pix directly to me or ”THE MARTINI RACING PAGE” thanks Len

  • JodyRenza

    Williams & Force India will surprise many people in the pits this year!!

  • jeff

    I for one am happy they have sponsorship for the up and coming season. I think Williams is everyone’s 2nd favorite team. Just hope Martini can see this thru. Seems they have a history of bailing out of F1. Love to see the Williams team do better, they’re loyalty and dedication to the sport is surpassed. The car looks ugly ad heck though. I wish them well.

  • jeff

    Typo I meant ” unsurpassed “

  • ZombieF1

    Get drunk and race…..if so, bring back cigarette and drug cartel sponsorships please.

  • Hawk

    i liked that.. you can guess what.

  • rex

    Can’t wait to see the livery..I think it will look great!

  • David

    That car needs a beautifully designed livery to counter its lack of aesthetics. I look forward to Williams getting a few points this season; Williams pere et fille have always come across as decent and honourable, in contrast to so many in sport generally.