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Williams deny Martini departure related to Sirotkin arrival

Written by  Mar 05, 2018

Williams has denied the decision of Martini not to renew their title sponsorship deal after 2018 was impacted by the arrival of Sergey Sirotkin.

Last week deputy team boss Claire Williams confirmed this would be the final year the iconic spirit brand and their stripes would feature on the Grove-based team's cars after returning to Formula 1 in 2014.

The reason cited was the sport no longer fitted with their marketing strategy, however, some have wondered if the non-compliance with a request for one race driver under 25 for promotional purposes had a say.

“I talked quite a lot last year about making sure we had drivers who were able to activate from a marketing perspective because of Martini’s 25 year age limit,” Williams admitted last week. “[But] going into this year it is hard to find drivers over 25."

Instead, 22-year-old Sirotkin replaced 37-year-old Felipe Massa for this season, beating 33-year-old Robert Kubica who as hired as reserve and development driver.

“They [Martini] were fully supportive of us bringing in Sergey and it played no part in their decision-making process moving forward as they were fully aware of our plans and supportive of it," the deputy boss insisted.

“I suppose next year it gives us the freedom to do what we want without having to worry about age limits.”

 

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