Motor racing-Williams end tie-up with major sponsor PDVSA

GROVE, England Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:45pm IST

Related Topics

Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

GROVE, England Nov 11 (Reuters) - Williams will end their tie-up with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA at the close of the Formula One season after Pastor Maldonado's departure from the team, deputy principal Claire Williams said on Monday.

"It (the branding) won't be on the car for next year," she told Reuters at the presentation of Brazilian Felipe Massa, currently with Ferrari, as Maldonado's replacement on a multi-year deal.

"There is no (further) connection with PDVSA as obviously Pastor is now leaving the team."

Maldonado has been backed by the oil giant throughout his career and his sponsorship millions have been eagerly sought by other teams. Williams said the driver had taken the decision to look elsewhere.

"We wish him well in that new challenge and we have to see where he ends up next year, but the Williams team won't have a connection to Venezuela next year," she said.

Maldonado has been linked to Lotus, who have been waiting for months to secure promised new investment from a consortium whose money has been slow in coming through, as well as cash-strapped Sauber and Force India.

The PDVSA sponsorship deal was with Williams, rather than a specific driver, and still had another two years to run.

The Venezuelan money made up a significant part of the Williams budget but sources indicated the team will be sheltered from any immediate impact by highly favourable severance terms.

"I think when our numbers come out next year, people will see what has actually gone on behind the scenes with this whole arrangement," said Claire Williams.

Williams indicated Brazil, with its fast-growing economy, could provide future backers. Massa is the country's sole driver and no longer in the number two role he had at Ferrari.

"I think Brazil is one of the sport's biggest markets, so it's really up to us to go out and commercialise Felipe as our driver," she said.

"We've been operating and looking for sponsorship in the Brazilian market for a long time now, we've had great Brazilian partners in the past. So we will be going out to Brazil to see what we can do out there."

Former champions Williams have a long-standing connection with Brazil, dating back to the days when triple champion Nelson Piquet was with them.

Other Brazilians to have raced for Williams include the late great Ayrton Senna, who died in one of their cars in 1994, and Rubens Barrichello. Bruno Senna, Ayrton's nephew, and Antonio Pizzonia also raced for the team.

"I hope we can bring some important companies to Williams from Brazil, I think Brazil is in a good moment and Williams has everything to give a good image," Massa told Reuters. "So it would be nice to have some Brazilian sponsors as well." (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Robert Woodward)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

IAAF Presidency

IAAF Presidency

Athletics - Coe announces plans to run for IAAF presidency.  Full Article 

Spieth Shines

Spieth Shines

Golf - Spieth upstages McIlroy, Scott at Australian Open.  Full Article 

Coach Speaks

Coach Speaks

Dortmund need results, not perfect football - Klopp.  Full Article 

Brazilian Cup

Brazilian Cup

Atletico Mineiro win Brazilian Cup.  Full Article 

Golf Update

Golf Update

Steady as she goes for jet-lagged McIlroy in Sydney.  Full Article 

Indian Soccer

Indian Soccer

India's two leagues to merge within five years - FA official.  Full Article 

Proud Wenger

Proud Wenger

Wenger proud of Arsenal but says they can do better   Full Article | Related Story 

Mandzukic Hat-trick

Mandzukic Hat-trick

Mandzukic shifts into top gear with European treble  Full Article 

Sun's Doping Ban

Sun's Doping Ban

WADA may appeal Sun's three-month doping ban  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage