Aston Martin are set to enter the 2022 season without the backing of long-term sponsor BWT, the Austrian water treatment systems company.
BWT signed a deal to become a prominent sponsor of the former Force India team ahead of the 2017 season, with the cars emblazoned in pink as a result. The deal was strengthened further in 2020 as BWT became the title sponsor of the Racing Point team after Lawrence Stroll's takeover of Force India.
However, the relationship between the two parties appeared to be on shakier ground ahead of 2021, due to the team being rebranded as Aston Martin, with Stroll putting a longer-term plan in place. This also involved a change of colour scheme, with the car going to the traditional Aston Martin green colour.
The BWT deal was rumoured to be off in the early stages of 2021, until confirmation came through that it would continue. However, there were only subtle hints of BWT's desired pink to accompany their logos on the car, while BWT were succeeded by Cognizant as the team's title sponsor.
RacingNews365.com now understands that BWT will not be continuing their sponsorship of Aston Martin into 2022. When approached for comment, a team spokesperson said: "We don't usually discuss the details of ongoing commercial discussions and contracts. Our full 2022 partner portfolio will be presented at our car launch event next month."
RacingNews365.com has approached the team to request clarification on the matter, and whether this will impact on Sebastian Vettel's personal ambassador role with BWT.
Rumours, which RacingNews365.com understands are very likely to be correct, suggest that BWT could be heading to Alpine with the departing Otmar Szafnauer, whose name has also been linked with a switch to the French team. The long-term team boss of Force India and Racing Point, who stayed for the first year of the Aston Martin project, was confirmed as leaving the squad earlier this week.
BWT will also continue as Formula 1's Official Water Technology Partner, after signing a long-term deal to expand their partnership during last summer.
BWT boss wanted a pink Aston Martin
BWT CEO Andreas Weissenbacher expressed his displeasure at the Aston Martin colour change in 2021, as he spoke to Austrian publication Speedweek.
"Lawrence Stroll understands that my heart bleeds," he commented.
"If the Aston Martin was pink, title sponsor Cognizant would also be happier because the recognition value would be much higher.
"Business-wise, it was wrong. Historically, the British racing green is certainly understandable for many, but not for me. The Aston Martin doesn't stand out on TV.
"The pink colour has not only become our trademark but has also acquired a certain elegance.
"The biggest disappointment is that I couldn't convince Lawrence Stroll to pink the Aston Martin. Not out of egotism, but out of pure rationality, because a pink car simply stands out more and has a much greater advertising effect."
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