Williams finally announced their new sponsorship deal with Martini on Thursday
Italian drinks company's famous striped livery to adorn FW36
By Mike Wise
Last Updated: 06/03/14 6:15pm
The sponsorship deal between the Grove team and the Italian drinks firm has been something of an open secret in F1 circles during recent weeks, with images of their FW36 adorned in Martini's famous striped livery published on social media. On Thursday, however, Williams finally had the chance to reveal the new look themselves.
A new look for Williams it might be, but Martini's colours have become an evocative image for motorsport fans over the years. The company first became involved in sportscar racing with Porsche in the late 1960s before switching to F1 in the early 1970s.
By the mid-1970s, Martini had forged alliances with first the Brabham team and later Lotus, and continued to heavily sponsor sportscars and rallying into the 1980s.
The deal comes at an opportune time given the impressive form Williams have shown during pre-season testing. Felipe Massa set the fastest time of all during the final test in Bahrain last week while the Mercedes-powered car has also shown pace and reliability on longer runs.
"We are thrilled to welcome Martini to the Williams family and officially launch Williams Martini Racing," said Sir Frank Williams.
"Williams and Martini share a rich history in the world of motorsport, and the values of our two brands and our shared passion for racing make this partnership a natural fit. It will be great to see the distinctive stripes of Martini Racing return to Formula 1 once again in unison with Williams."