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Williams poaches sponsor from struggling Lotus

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Unilever Willaims F1 New Sposor
A major backer of the Lotus team has switched allegiances within the F1 pitlane.

Earlier this year, amid the Enstone team’s slump from fourth in 2012 and 2013 to just eighth in the 2014 constructors’ standings, rumours emerged that the Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever could switch from Lotus to McLaren.

Unilever has advertised its brands Rexona and Clear on the most recent Lotus cars.

It has emerged that Williams is the actual beneficiary of the Unilever switch.

In total contrast to Lotus, the Grove team emerged from the depths of ninth place in the 2013 standings to become one of dominant Mercedes’ only competitors this season.

The team announced in a statement: “The Rexona logo will appear on the sidepod, front wing and front wishbones of the (2015) Williams-Mercedes FW37, as well as the team environment and apparel.”

Deputy boss Claire Williams said earlier this week that, given their resources, the British team can be directly compared with the similarly-sized Lotus.

“It is obvious,” she is quoted by France’s L’Equipe, “because like them, we get results with a budget half the size of the big teams.

“Lotus does have a different financial and operational structure to us. We are an independent team and we are also the only publicly listed one. It gives us a lot of transparency and it is a great asset because it reassures our partners.”

She also said that for a team like Williams, sporting and commercial success are “inextricably” linked.

“It (the interest of sponsors) really is picking up,” Williams told Reuters. “People want to be a part of it.

“We’ve got lots of really positive conversations going on in the pipeline. Success breeds success, doesn’t it?” (GMM)

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