|Nicholas Latifi – has checks, will drive|
(GMM) The sponsorship dollars brought by Nicholas Latifi's new race seat are now starting to flow at Williams.
This week, we reported that Williams' major backer since 2015, Rexona and its parent Unilever, have left as the Oxfordshire based team faces a third consecutive season at the very back of the grid.
And that came after the departure of Robert Kubica and his sponsor PKN Orlen, who are now taking their EUR 15 million in backing to Alfa Romeo.
But by signing Latifi, the son of wealthy McLaren co-owner Michael Latifi, Williams has opened up a new stream of revenue.
The most obvious will be the replacement of the Orlen branding on the back of the rear wing with Sofina, the third largest food company in Canada.
Sofina was founded by Michael Latifi, and it is reported that the sponsorship dollars from the Latifi camp to Williams will add up to about $40 million in 2020.
Some of that will also come from Lavazza, a well-known Italian coffee brand. Latifi's Sofina Foods is the exclusive distributor of Lavazza coffee in Canada.
Lavazza has been a personal sponsor of Nicholas Latifi's in recent seasons, and the logo will make its debut on Williams' 2020 car this year.
After hitting rock bottom in 2019, Williams is hoping for a better season this year but boss Claire Williams admits the sweeping new rules for 2021 are a complication.
"Really, we're looking at 2019 and 2020 as one long campaign. So it's difficult, but we wanted the 2021 regulations to come in," she said.
"We lobbied hard for them, so we've just go to deal with the problem head on and do the best job that we can."