Sponsorship has been utterly crucial to my career. Ducking, diving, selling and marketing basically got me the opportunity to do the business in Renault Spiders.
At various stages through my professional career, when things have gone tits up - like when SEAT pulled out and there were no other seats around - I've had to get my arse in gear and put deals together.
It's the differentiator between the great and the good, in the sense that you see things go pear-shaped for paid drivers and they don't get involved in trying to make things happen. I've never been like that; I've always been trying to make myself central to all the marketing, a) because I enjoy it and b) because I think it's key.
I like trying to work out how to get a company involved, after the research we've done. What can we come up with that will be the hook? I really enjoy it.
I don't think drivers underestimate sponsorship because they know money is needed, but in my experience 99.999 per cent of drivers under-deliver in this area and don't work hard enough.
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