Santander pulls out from Ferrari and F1 deal in favour of UEFA Champions League
Spanish banking giants Santander has confirmed it will not re-sign a fresh deal with Ferrari and Formula 1 from the 2018 season onward. It will thus end its eight-year partnership with the Italian outfit, on whose cars, its logo featured prominently, as well as on the team gear.
In a statement on Wednesday, it said: "At the end of this year, Santander will conclude its successful sponsorship of the Formula 1 racing team, Scuderia Ferrari, which it has supported for the last eight seasons.
"The bank will also conclude its corporate sponsorship agreements with F1 which have helped increase Santander’s brand recognition around the world over the last 11 years."
Instead of staying back in F1, it has a signed a three-year agreement with the UEFA Champions league, one of the biggest football club tournaments in the world. It had joined Ferrari in 2010 on the back of the arrival of Fernando Alonso in the team.
Despite the Spaniard leaving the outfit at the end of the 2014 season, Santander continued its sponsorship deal with Ferrari, along side maintaining its long-standing contract with McLaren, which started in 2007 - also upon Alonso's arrival.
Outside the team's sponsorship, Santander also had corporate arrangements with F1 as it was the title sponsor of the Spanish Grand Prix between 2011 and 2013 seasons, while it supported the British Grand Prix from 2007 until the 2014 season.
Santander's Ana Botin said: "Santander's partnership with the UEFA Champions League, the world's most global and aspirational sporting competition, builds on our support of Libertadores and, more recently, Racing Santander, the local football team of the Cantabrian city where our bank was founded 160 years ago.
"We love sport. Our free-time exercise, which we do to challenge ourselves to be better, the weekend match we watch with family and friends, our loyalty to a club and the excitement of the spectacle.
"Ferrari and F1, to whom we are very grateful, have played an important role at Santander over the past 10 years. We will continue our support of sport because it is a valuable way to contribute to the prosperity of the communities where we work."
This is the second blow to F1 and or a F1 team, after Hugo Boss recently announced its departure from the sport and the Mercedes team, in favour of the growing all-electric FIA Formula E championship.