ROKiT extends Williams title sponsorship to 2023

Robert Kubica (POL) Williams Racing FW42.
© XPB 

Telecommunications business ROKiT has announced that it has upped its title sponsorship of the Williams F1 team from three years to five.

ROKiT replaced Martini as Williams' top sponsor at the start of the season. The new deal will see them backing the team through to the end of the 2023 campaign.

Despite the team being firmly stuck at the back of the grid for every race so far in 2019, ROKiT chairman Jonathan Kendrick said he was happy with that the partnership had delivered on a business level in the first six months.

"Our relationship with the Williams Racing team supports our position as a global player in the mobile phone industry, entertainment and drinks business," he commented on Thursday.

"We have exciting plans to produce exclusive ROKiT Williams Racing content for our ROKiT phones, as well as strong distribution for ABK and Bogarts.

"I am also committed to helping the team get back onto the podium, where they should be," he added.

ROKiT said that it had already seen positive results from the partnership across multiple areas - including branding, hospitality and technical collaboration.

“I’m happy with my brand recognition and what it’s done for me,” Kendrick subsequently told after the announcement.

“I sponsored the team to get my brand out there, and it’s got my brand out there big time, all over the world. It’s even better than I expected.

"There’s masses of potential for Williams to leverage their brand in a way that they’ve never done before.

"Obviously nobody’s happy with finishing last, but I’ve been to factory, I know what they are capable of, I’ve seen the incredible engineers they’ve got. It’s just a hiccup."

George Russell (GBR), Williams F1 Team

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams was also pleased with the new agreement, which takes some of the financial pressure off the team's current struggles.

“We are delighted to announce this extension to our partnership with ROKiT," she said. "As I said in February, this is a natural partnership based on shared values of innovation, engineering excellence and trust.

"ROKiT joined the team at a challenging time and it means a great deal to us that they believe in our vision and are committed to helping us achieve it.

"I’ve personally enjoyed working with the team at ROKiT and look forward to continuing this work in the years ahead."

The team also receives significant financial backing from major Polish oil refiner and retailer PKN Orlen. However the reported 10 million euro deal relies on Robert Kubica maintaining a fill-time race seat at Williams.

Recent reports suggest that PKN Orlen has only paid half the agreed annual figure, giving rise to suggestions that Kubica could soon be replaced by Mercedes protege Esteban Ocon.

"Speculation regarding the limitation of Orlen’s support for Williams is untrue," a spokesman for the company told Polish media this week.

“The contract with the team is for the whole season and is closely related to the participation in the races of Robert Kubica,” he continued. “The rules of financing and the team’s obligations are precisely defined in the contract.”

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