Williams split with long time sponsor

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW33. Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday 8 October 2011.

Jan.3 (GMM) Williams team appear to have split with or lost their long-time title sponsor AT&T.

After the famous British team scored just 5 points and finished a dismal ninth in the 2011 championship, the logo of its American telecommunications company backer has been removed from official stationary and Williams’ website.

Initial reports say the contract expired at the end of December and was not renewed, despite Williams requesting a new three-year deal for $15 million.

Until 2011, AT& T – title sponsor since 2007 – is believed to have paid around $7m per season.

It is rumoured Williams could be sponsored by the part state-owned Qatar National Bank in 2012.