Gulf Oil, the US petroleum brand, will continue its presence in motor racing’s Formula 1 (F1) after striking a multi-year sponsorship deal with UK-based team Williams Racing.
The new partnership was unveiled as Williams launched its new livery for the 2023 F1 season today (February 6) with an updated blue and red look.
Under the agreement, Gulf Oil’s logo will feature on the rear wing and front nose of the team’s car, the team’s pit stop gantry, as well as on the overalls of the drivers and key pit stop personnel.
As part of the deal, Gulf will also sponsor Williams’ esports team and Driver Academy. There will, in addition, be several activations throughout the season, with a focus on digitally enabled-engagement opportunities.
The deal sees Gulf retain its presence in F1 after its long-standing partnership with fellow F1 team McLaren Racing ended after the 2022 F1 season. That partnership was most recently renewed in 2020, but it was confirmed at the end of last season the tie-up would not be extended further.
Matthew Savage, chairman of the board at Williams, said: “I am incredibly excited about this partnership between Williams Racing and Gulf, a renowned and trusted global brand, who have put their trust in us as a long-term partner.
“This signifies the strength of our brand and commercial offerings as we continue our transformation.
“Gulf and Williams Racing share an illustrious motorsport heritage and, together, we are making history with this partnership.”
Williams is one of the most successful F1 teams in history but has struggled in recent years, finishing bottom of the contractors’ standing in four of the last five seasons.
The team was bought by Dorilton Capital from founder Sir Frank Williams in 2020, who last month named Mercedes strategy chief James Vowels as the team’s new team principal ahead of the 2023 season.
Alex Albon returns for his second year with the team as a driver and will be partnered by rookie Logan Sargeant, F1’s first US driver since 2016 and a graduate of the team’s driver academy.
Mike Jones, Gulf Oil International chief executive, said: “Gulf has a proud history in motorsport with some of the most iconic respected teams, and Williams Racing is no exception.
“Together we share decades of motorsport experience to bring motorsport, Formula 1, and Williams Racing fans closer to the sport they love through our partnership.
“Together we are a vision of a bright modern future for motorsport on and off the track; made possible through our common culture of partnership and innovation.
“This makes Williams Racing the perfect partner for Gulf, and we’re excited to start this next chapter of our iconic motorsport story.”
In addition to the unveiling of its Gulf Oil partnership, Williams Racing also announced deals with US investment bank Stephens, Anheuser-Busch-owned beer brand Michelob Ultra, and PureStream.
Stephens has been named the team’s official investment banking partner, while Michelob Ultra and technology platform company PureStream have signed on as official partners.
As part of its agreement, PureStream will co-host thought leadership events at select races throughout the 2023 season.
In December, Williams was awarded £26 million ($32.2 million) in compensation by a US judge after winning a crucial legal battle against Rokit, the UK-based telecoms company and former title sponsor of the team.
Rokit became title sponsor of the Williams team ahead of the 2019 season, replacing spirits brand Martini, which ended its five-year agreement with the British team and withdrew from the sport altogether at the end of 2018.
Rokit’s deal was due to run until 2023 and was worth around $25 million per year.
Williams went into 2022 without a title sponsor and said it was “not actively” looking to secure a new one.
Pre-season testing for the 2023 season will run in Bahrain from February 23 to 25, with the first grand prix of the season at the same venue on March 5.