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F1 NEWS 

Williams: Martini sponsorship deal a boost for Formula 1

Williams Martini launch

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams thinks Martini's return to Formula 1 is great news not only for her team, but also for the sport.

The Grove-based team confirmed a new title sponsorship deal with Martini on Thursday, meaning the iconic racing stripes will be back on the F1 grid.

Martini began its involvement with motorsport in 1968 and the Williams agreement is its most significant programme since it backed Lotus during the 1979 season.

Williams Martini launch gallery

"This is amazing, not just for Williams to have brought in a title sponsor with a brand like Martini, that's fantastic for us, but for the sport as a whole," said Williams when asked by AUTOSPORT how the deal came about.

"To have a brand like Martini sponsor a team is an endorsement for our sport."

Although Williams endured one of its worst seasons during 2013, the team chief said the squad's pedigree played an important role in Martini's decision.

"The history was important to them, the family side was very important to them," said Williams. "We share that we are family-owned companies.

""We are going to do some amazing things and it is really going to help drive interest in Williams, Martini and F1 as well because there is going to be lots of great activation around the races."

PLENTY OF COMPETITION

Williams Martini launch

Williams admitted her team faced competition from rivals also trying to secure the deal with Martini, but says the agreement was reached quickly.

"Other teams can offer a lot too and we are all fighting as well, it wasn't easy," Williams said.

"I'm just pleased that at the end of the day we won that competition."

"Some deals can take years and some deals happen just like that and this has been quite quick. For a title sponsor particularly it hasn't taken as long as maybe you would expect it to have done. Talks started last year.

"Both parties at the table wanted to make it happen because they recognise what we as a team can offer a partner and the shared synergies between our brands."

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