Martini to step away from F1 at the end of 2018


Williams Racing and Martini will end their five-year partnership at the end of 2018 as the iconic brand departs Formula 1.

The famous Martini Racing colors of the celebrated cocktail brand enjoyed a prominent presence in motor racing in the seventies, mainly with the Brabham and Lotus F1 teams as well as with Porsche in endurance racing.

The company returned to F1 in 2014 following a major sponsorship agreement with Williams.

According to reports from, Martini initially pondered an extension of its deal with the Grove-based outfit or an involvement with another team in the future, but it has ultimately decided to move away from Grand Prix racing.

"We have discussed extending beyond 2018," Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams told

"While we would both like to do so, the Bacardi Group have told us that they will step away entirely from Formula 1 when our contract expires at the end of this year.

"They have many brands to support and obviously their strategic priorities evolve over time."

Williams is likely to be a bit "shaken but not stirred" by the prospect of losing its major partner, as it still benefits from a healthy portfolio of partners, the last of which, Acronis, was just added to the team's pool of sponsors.

The British outfit also enjoys an influx of funds from Lance Stroll's father, Lawrence Stroll, as well as from Sergey Sirotkin's backers, Russian bank SMP.

"A strong partner community is central to our operation," commented Williams.

"I wouldn't assume that we would prioritise title partnership above anything else".

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter