Formula One is set to be stirred not shaken for the first time since 1979, with the official unveiling of the Williams' FW36 in full Martini livery ahead of next weeks F1 season opener in Melbourne, Australia.
Williams F1 has officially confirmed the multi-year sponsorship contract with Italian drinks company Martini at to form 'Williams Martini Racing,' after weeks of speculation.
"We are thrilled to welcome Martini to the Williams family and officially launch Williams Martini Racing," said team founder Sir Frank Williams in a statement. "Williams and Martini share a rich history in the world of motorsport, and the values of our two brands and our shared passion for racing make this partnership a natural fit. It will be great to see the distinctive stripes of Martini Racing return to Formula One once again in unison with Williams."
Valtteri Boltas returns for his second season with Williams, while Brazilian former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is looking forward to starting a new season wearing the Williams Martini-clad overalls. The FW36 has set strong times during testing at Jerez and Bahrain at the team has high hopes for a return to form. A unique feature is an emblem of Ayrton Senna on the nose cone, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the late great Brazilian driver's death at Imola in 1994.
Martini became involved in Formula One in the early seventies with both Brabham and Lotus wearing the trademark blue and red stripes. Sports car and Rally teams like Lancia and Ford have also carried the Martini livery.