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Another slammer for Sauber as tequila giant signs deal
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Another slammer for Sauber as tequila giant signs deal
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Jan 2011   |  2:52 pm GMT  |  48 comments

The Mexican connection is starting to come up trumps for the Sauber team, with the announcement that legendary tequila brand Jose Cuervo has come on board as a partner.

Last year Sauber did a life-saving deal with Carlos Slim, whose America Movil company is one of the world’s largest telecoms giants. Along with that deal came two young Mexican drivers, Sergio Perez and reserve driver Esteban Guttierez.


The sheer power of America Movil and the two telecoms brands it is using in F1, Claro and Telmex, as well as Slim’s influence in the Latin American market is turning Sauber into a rallying point for brands, who want to get in on the action. I know of another globally famous Mexican drinks brand which is currently preparing a deal with the team.

“When we found out a Mexican driver had secured a seat with the Sauber F1 Team it all clicked for Jose Cuervo to support him and the team. It is very clear when all the right pieces fall into place things work out naturally,” said Juan Domingo Beckmann, CEO of Jose Cuervo.

Like Williams, which has gone for Venezuelan money, Sauber has saved the day with this deal and the floodgates are opening to a new raft of companies coming into F1 for the first time. It’s great to see and further proof of what can be achieved with some imagination and determination. Fernando Alonso’s presence in a Ferrari is also proving a powerful magnet to draw fans in Hispanic countries to F1.

This is the kind of thing HRT has been trying to achieve with ex Telefonica president Juan Villalonga.

“We are very pleased to welcome Jose Cuervo as a new partner,” said Peter Sauber. “To sign Sergio Pérez as the team mate of Kamui Kobayashi has had an impressive and passionate impact on the Mexican market.”

However, many in the F1 paddock will be anxiously weighing up the wisdom of taking too much of Sauber’s hospitality this season..

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48 Comments
  1. James W says:

    Another global alcohol brand pairing up with Sauber… Sol or Corona perhaps?

  2. Louis says:

    McLaren has (had?) Johnny Walker, Ferrari has Martini, now Sauber with Jose Cuervo…

    There’s a comedy sketch in there somewhere.

  3. James says:

    That’s great news. Anything to keep the team alive and in the black. I have a feeling that F1 cars will be more like A1GP cars in the future, with them representing countries more and more.

    1. Bec says:

      Or A10 as they’re now known, but Shhh, don’t mention there’s a connection between the two, A1 still owes millions of pounds, so have changed name slightly to avoid paying their debts.

      Sponsors, franchise holders, suppliers, circuits and promoters associated with A10 should be ashamed.

  4. Alek Boyd says:

    James, I find your article somewhat disingenuous.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but all Mexican cos supporting Sauber are privately owned, while Venezuelan tax payers’ money is supporting Pastor Maldonado’s adventure in F1.

    Not quite the same, is it? Especially considering that Venezuelans did not approve of PDVSA – Williams deal through Congress. It was a unilateral decision taken by Hugo Chavez, who has no right to be spending public money without Congress approval.

    1. fof1 says:

      The link which comes up when your name is clicked proves that you are not really impartial and have a political agenda. I thought this site was supposed to be about F1, not the merits of President Someone.

      1. Alek Boyd says:

        If you cared to read what I wrote, you won’t find any claims of impartiality. Of course I have a political agenda, it’s our money that Chavez is spending, and he has no right to do so according to the laws of our country, no matter how much some people try to defend him.

        This is indeed about F1, and how Williams has taken public money from an utterly underdeveloped country. Let Williams pray that Chavez remains in power after 2012, for if the opposition wins this multi million/years deal will be scrapped quicker than a Silverstone lap.

    2. Meh says:

      And our Congress had no trouble approving billions to the bankers who stole our tax money in the first place, so they stole from us 2 times.

      Your point is that ‘Democracy’ works?

      Yes it does perfectly for multinationals and bankers bribing our ‘elected’ officials.

    3. Steven says:

      Yeah, but its still gets Venezuela in the global news, and that cant hurt anybody in the country.

  5. Erik says:

    It is great to see Sauber finally getting a break, now let’s hope Perez can deliver a few results for the team as well.

  6. Nathan says:

    I love the direction Sauber is going in.

    My favourite team, owned by a classy guy who is willing to give young talent a chance.

    Really hope they have a productive season this year, I will enjoy watching Kobayashi and Perez.

  7. Galapago555 says:

    It’s great to see how this Latin American connection keeps growing… Maybe in some years we see again a Mexican GP :-)

    Btw, how long will we have this alcoholic drinks advertising on the cars? I think in many countries it’s already forbidden. It will be funny to see how all that brands (Johnnie Walker, now this tequila José Cuervo,…) turn into bar codes or something like that…

  8. Pete S. says:

    “Another slammer”!!!

    Awesome choice of words.

    1. Mark V. says:

      I think we need to take this news with a grain of salt. And a slice of lemon.

      1. James Allen says:

        Always work with a drummer..

      2. Mark V. says:

        Thanks. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

  9. sender says:

    There is every reason to be happy about Sauber team. As for F-1 in general, it is harder to say…
    Money dictates more and more and it becomes one of the main ingredients of success. Whether it is good or bad it is anyones guess.
    A couple of times before this season some drivers (both experienced and young and talented) criticized the power of money and that it more and more becomes the deciding factor in choosing the drivers.
    The problem is that almost nobody has talked about it, almost nobody has disscused it.
    Look how many seats are given to drivers because of the sponsorship money. Look how many teams have now got the so called pay drivers.
    Some fans have said that this was the situation some time ago and now the sport is returning to it.
    F-1 needs some changes.

    1. Steven says:

      The thing is that while its “wrong” or not ideal that drivers are given seats because of how much money they bring, its also true that if there is no money there is no team for the drivers to race for.

    2. seisteve says:

      I could not agree more… but with understanding that in my small number of 30 years watching this sport it has required money… maintaining the greatest show of technology will always be expensive.

      However with the resource agreements in place at least team are playing together on a more level board and finding it a little easier to keep up which makes the sport better for the fan and sponsors alike.

      This article is about a big name in the drinks market placing money with a smaller team which would give then less coverage but allow them to support their driver. They would have got better coverage with a larger team (maybe a smaller space…)

      Big money will go to big teams but the smaller teams can position themselves quicker with a little out-of-the-box thinking to bring in the budget to increase their competitiveness.

      This is a true multi faceted sport… awesome. Looking forward to this 2011 season anyone?

  10. Tlux says:

    Tequila and club soda James….. It will change your life!

  11. JimmiC says:

    Does that mean we are going to see a beautiful gold car, similar to the ’96 Jordan?

  12. Khan says:

    This is the kind of thing HRT has been trying to achieve with ex Telefonica president Juan Villalonga.

    All they did was signing an Indian driver who last raced 5 or 6 years ago. Why didnt they brought in de la rosa or even marc gene could have been a better option to draw spanish sponsors.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      I’m affraid no Spanish sponsor is interested in a backmarker. Think that the average Spanish fan is used to see Fernando in the front, so I can not see any big investor (let’s say Telefónica, Repsol or BBVA) puting loads of money just to sponsor the worst car in the grid. The image of HRT is not good as well, as they are clearly only looking for pay drivers.

      IMO Spanish investors are more interested in other sports with huge impact on Spanish media, such as Moto GP, where all the three Champions and runners up of last season were Spaniards.

      Finally, Pedro said more than once that driving for HRT is not an option for him.

      1. James W says:

        And Schumacher categorically ruled out returning to F1 for several seasons…

        I suspect Pedro is being paid just fine testing for Pirelli, but if he wants a race seat in 2011, there is only one option left…

  13. Paul H says:

    Great news to hear Sauber getting a good stock of sponsors after last season. They’ve always been a team who never seem to make the headlines but just go racing in a quiet way – maybe that will change with the arrival of Tequila shot bonus and fine system! Imagine how late Kobayashi would brake when he is hungover :)

    Hope the other global drinks brand is indeed Corona – not only my drink of choice but the combined colour schemes could provide an eye catching livery. Certainly something more interesting than the two cigarette packaging inspired designs so far revealed by Ferrari and Proton-RENAULT.

    Good luck for the week ahead James, you’re going to be busy with all the car launches and testing and inevitable politics when someone has a part nobody else thought of.

    1. Chris says:

      Lotus-Renault. And 1 Malaysia-Renault

      1. Paul H says:

        We should run a sweepstake on the amount of time devoted to these two teams during the coverage of the first grand prix. Really hope it’s not too over the top.

      2. malcolm.strachan says:

        You mean Lotus, and Renault with Lotus sponsorship, right?

  14. Stuart Fenton says:

    Here’s an interesting Q. Nakajima had Toyota backing, Sato had Honda and Yamamota has some disillusioned business man. How on this earth has Kamui, a superstar in the making, got zero backing? This is bizarre!

    1. Dave Aston says:

      I wonder too… But, didn’t he get some help initially from Toyota? I reckon he won’t need it anyhow; he’s going to be World Champ within five years regardless… he’s a gun!

      1. Steve says:

        He’s definitely a welcome breath of fresh air for F1, however I’d be very surprised if he ever became world champion! I think he’s more of an Alesi type driver.

    2. tom says:

      well he had toyota backing until they pulled out, didn’t he? then suaber saved him from a career as a sushi chef, if i remember correctly…

  15. Relativity says:

    However, many in the F1 paddock will be anxiously weighing up the wisdom of taking too much of Sauber’s hospitality this season.

    Brilliant :-)

    I am happy Sauber is not only surviving but thriving. Peter Sauber deserves kudos for doing the right thing and buying his company back from BMW and making it a great survival story.

    Fill up Perez and Kobayashi’s drinks bottle with José Cuervo and send them out to qualify, I say!!

  16. Titus Pullo says:

    Alcohol and driving fast go so well together.

  17. Pratik Biyani says:

    @Stuart Fenton: Kamui had Toyota backing when they were in F1. Now he is backed by his talent. Seriously speaking, good catch for Sauber who were plain white for so much of last season.

    1. Stuart Fenton says:

      He was backed by toyota to an extent. Only when the Glock broke his leg did Kamui get a go!. Im surprised panasonic havent jumped ship to the swiss mountains

  18. Joseph Simmons says:

    Of course, this is great news for the Sauber team, which struggled last year with sponsorship! With this kind of strong financial support, 2012 could be a return to mid-field for the team. Sauber has been the launching pad for some strong F1 talent; Massa and Kimi! However, Kobayashi should be on high alert! Because if his performance slips, the door could be open for Perez. In dream world of 2012, there could be a team composed of Hulkenberg and Kobayashi on the gird!

  19. Koby fan says:

    Wonder how much pressure this new wave of ‘national sponsorship’ puts on the new drivers like Perez and Maldonado this season?

    In the case of Petrov, his russian sponsorship ties probably saved his Renault seat (or is that Lotus?) this year…

  20. jose arellano says:

    Nice played by sauber

    he has the choice of replacing Perez with Esteban Gutierrez if he doesnt deliver and still keep the sponsors happy..

    Here in mexico i can sense the start of grow of interest in motorsport beacuse of perez in different ways..

    a cool detail from telmex is that all of theyre service cars are now painted with the GrandAm sponsored car scheme.. they look funny.

  21. Brian says:

    The question that these deals raise is how much is it now the sponsor rather than team management choosing the drivers and is this really positive for the sport as a whole?

    One of the reasons oft given for (then sponsor) Red Bull and Sauber parting was that Sauber insisted on Kimi Raikkonen over the “suggested” Enrique Bernoldi. Are we now to look forward to a grid half-full of modern-day Bernoldis as teams now simply cannot afford not to do as their sponsor commands…

    I would rather teams ran to the model used by Virgin Racing or teams received a greater share of F1′s revenues if it meant that drivers were selected primarily on merit. The sport must address the serious issue of F1 teams apparently not being able to generate sufficient profit (with possibly two exceptions) to run their affairs without the intervention of a cash-rich sugar-daddy. This is simply not a sustainable model for the long-term future of the sport – the likes of Walter Wolf have come and gone, his modern day equivalents will also depart the sport sooner or later – what will the bloated teams they leave behind do then…?

  22. Chris Chong says:

    I was wondering about this too. He’s clearly the best Japanese driver in years and not a single Japanese company is taking advantage of this!

    Surely companies like Panasonic, Sony or even Suntory would benefit from the exposure.

    1. Ed says:

      Yes, the Panasonic rumours have gone quiet lately – hopefully they are still in talks.

      Maybe they are waiting to see if Honda comes back with Sauber in 2013 as has been rumoured.

  23. Michael says:

    It’s just unbelievable how tobacco and motorsports is bad, but alcohol and motorsports just swell. I’ve never heard of any driver killing someone because they were drunk on a cigarette. Horrible. Alcohol has no place in anything mechanized, especially motorsports.

  24. Andy C says:

    This is surely the time James to introduce the formula one paddock to “stuntman tequilas”.

  25. John says:

    Be warned that JC is nothing but cheap Gringo hangover Tequila. Only drink 100% Blue Agave tequila. That said, good job by Sauber for getting sponsors. Just need some ciggy companies and ‘PENTHOUSE’ plastered along the side of cars with FAT rear tires and miniscule fronts now.

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