Sahara Force India Formula One is co-owned by Vijay Mallaya, chairman of UB Group. Diageo is in the process of raising its stake in UB Group’s United Spirts to 54%, giving it a controlling stake.
No figure has put on the value of the deal.
The news follows Martini’s sponsorship of Williams Racing which was announced earlier this year.
As part of the deal Smirnoff branding will be featured on the cars for next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Drivers’ suits, helmets and team clothing will also carry the Smirnoff ‘eyebrow logo’.
Vijay Mallya, team principal and managing director of Sahara Force India, said: “It’s fantastic to see Smirnoff join the world of Formula One. It’s an iconic, global brand and we welcome them to the Sahara Force India family.
“As a team we’ve always mixed the highest professionalism on the track with great celebrations away from it and our partnership with Smirnoff reinforces these values. As we continue to make progress on the track, Smirnoff is the ideal brand to help celebrate these moments and open up the sport to new fans.”
Matt Bruhn, Smirnoff global brand director, added: “We love Sahara Force India’s story, as well as its ability to help us communicate about responsibility and top quality performance. This team is shaking up how we perceive racing and giving the establishment a real run for its money. We are thrilled to help them bring fans closer to the action and have lots of fun with this energetic, exciting team along the way.”