Williams has been one of the most dependable Formula One teams when it comes to the livery department. Since 2013, its cars have bedecked in white with the blue and red Martini racing stripes that have become almost synonymous with the modern Williams name. But things are about to get a shakeup for the 2019 season: Williams has a brand new title sponsor and a brand new livery to lead into their next era of racing.
The new title sponsor? ROKiT, described in the Williams press announcement as “a global telecommunications company.” Basically, the company offers smartphones, is working to install WiFi around the world, and is developing “smart cities”—cities that view universal WiFi as a right, not a privilege. If you’re wondering how ROKiT found its ties in F1, then look no further; the press release clears up the relationship for us:
ROKiT is the brainchild of philanthropist and business innovator, John Paul DeJoria (Patron Tequila, Paul Mitchell) and British entrepreneur Jonathan Kendrick, whose personal passion for innovation, engineering and motorsport made him the ultimate driving force behind ROKiT and the sponsorship of the iconic British racing team. Kendrick’s close affiliation with Formula One and Williams started, aged 17, with Goodyear Racing in Wolverhampton, before securing the European rights of the then unknown Yokohama Tyres, ahead of moving into audio-visual innovation for mobile phones. As part of the Williams trackside team, Kendrick proudly engineered the tyres of Alan Jones’ race car at the 1978 Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires.
The livery reveal took place at the Williams factory on Monday afternoon.
While the actual, physical car won’t be seen in action until pre-season testing later this month, the team showed off a pretty neat video revealing the new baby blue and white livery.
I’m not gonna lie, it’s a pretty neat way to start off the season. I’m a big fan of teams who make drastic livery upgrades. And I think we lucked out here—ROKiT’s logo design is black, white, and red. Opting for a cool blue to differentiate the team from, say, Ferrari or Alfa Romeo (formerly known as Sauber) is a smart move. It’s bright, unique, and a welcome offset to the darker Haas and Renault liveries.