At this point, the RoKit Williams F1 team appears to resemble a magnet that has had its polarity reversed. Last year, their title sponsor, Martini abandoned ship, once the holes appeared in the hull. Then, ahead of New Year’s Day, PKN Orlen chose to get on the lifeboat called Alfa Romeo. Now more trouble has arrived for the Grove-based team as another major sponsor has split with them.
Earlier, Sportowe Fakty reported that the likes of Symantec, Omnitude, and Tata have also exited stage left. The most recent departure is deodorant brand Rexona, according to Sportowe. For the past few seasons, the Australian brand had had its logo emblazoned on the Williams F1 livery, but in 2020 it will no longer be seen.
Back in 2015, the deodorant brand switched its backing from the erstwhile Lotus F1 team to Williams, a year after Martini took over as the title sponsor. It is worth noting that the AS newspaper claimed that the Rexona deal was worth EUR 15 million to Williams.
In other words, Rexona was regarded as the team’s second-biggest sponsor behind title backer RoKit. To make matters worse for the British outfit, Williams announced that it has sold the majority of its engineering arm by Christmas Eve. As a result, Williams Advanced Engineering went to a private equity firm.
The only ray of light was that Williams’ loss of sponsors will be compensated by the arrival of Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi. Interestingly, Latifi’s father, Michael bought a $350m stake in McLaren in 2018 and the Woking team has been on the up since last year.
Speaking about Nicholas Latifi, Claire Williams praised him and disclosed that he has become an integral part of the team. She said, “He’s got a great personality, he did a good job in Formula 2, and I think he’ll be instrumental in driving the team forward.”