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..