Williams has announced that it will officially partner with Italian coffee manufacturer Lavazza for the 2020 Formula 1 season.
Founded in Turin, Italy in 1895 by Luigi Lavazza whose family still have a controlling interest in the company, Lavazza is one of the leading coffee roasters in the world and prides itself on being ‘Italy’s favourite coffee’.
Lavazza, backers of Williams’ new driver for 2020 Nicholas Latifi in his rise to Formula 1, have an exclusive distribution agreement with Sofina foods who it was announced this week would also be a major sponsor of Williams for 2020.
Sofina is part of Nicholas’ Latifi’s father Michael Latifi’s business empire.
“Lavazza…and Williams Racing share similar values, we build our businesses around passion for work, and for our product. These attributes around innovation and entrepreneurship provide solid foundations for our companies to build a strong partnership.” said Williams’ Deputy team Principal Claire Williams on announcing the deal.
“I look forward to working with Lavazza and welcoming them into Formula 1 for the 2020 season.”
Deja vu all over again
The 2020 Formula 1 season won’t be the first time the Lavazza logo has appeared on one of Sir Frank Williams‘ cars.
Back in 1975, Sir Frank, then in charge of Frank Williams Racing Cars, found himself in dire need of cash to keep his small, independent Grand Prix team afloat, and regular driver Arturo Merzario was jettisoned in favour of a series of pay drivers who each brought with them a sum of money in exchange for a crack at Formula 1.
These drivers included Damien Magee, France François Migault, Ian Ashley, Jo Vonlanthen, Renzo Zorzi and female racer Lella Lombardi who brought with her sponsorship from Lavazza – the very same company with whom Williams have just struck a deal for 2020.
Sadly for Lombardi, her one outing in a Frank Williams Racing Cars FW04 ended when an engine ignition problem prevented her from taking the start, having qualified 24th and last.
Fingers crossed the Williams/Lavazza partnership fares much better in 2020!