Komatsu and Williams Racing reignite historic partnership
By Adam FreillConstruction Leadership
Companies were partners in the '80s and '90s, winning championships with Damon Hill and Canadian driver, Jacques Villeneuve.
Heavy equipment manufacturer Komatsu has signed a multi-year deal with Williams Racing to become the Principal Partner of the British team from the start of the 2024 FIA Formula One World Championship (F1) season.
Tokyo-based Komatsu has been building innovation in the equipment manufacturing sector for more than 100 years, and the global company’s focus on the long-term development of engineering, technology and young people is mirrored in its official designations with the team. As per the agreement, Komatsu is the Official STEM and Early Careers Partner, Official Esports Partner and Official Construction Machinery Partner for Williams Racing.
These areas will overlap and combine within the partnership, as Komatsu says it will endeavour to engage and bring focus to the next generation of innovators through STEM events enriched by the Williams Racing esports platform.
One of the driving forces behind the partnership, says the equipment manufacturer, was the alignment of vision that the two brands share. Komatsu says the characteristics embedded in its corporate values, such as cutting-edge technology, outstanding quality and unwavering reliability, are all demonstrated by Williams Racing at the highest level of motorsport.
“Komatsu and Williams Racing have shared values around innovation and the development of our people,” said Hiroyuki Ogawa, president and CEO of Komatsu Ltd. “Through our partnership we look forward to creating value together, both on and off the track. Our partnership with Williams Racing, is aligned with Komatsu’s mission to create value through manufacturing and technology innovations to empower a sustainable future where people, businesses and our planet can thrive together.”
Komatsu was a key partner of Williams Racing in Formula One during the 1980s and 1990s, a period of abundant success for the team. The most notable achievements were in 1996 and 1997, when Komatsu supported Williams Racing to constructors’ and drivers’ championships with Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve respectively.
“Williams Racing is delighted to be rekindling our relationship with Komatsu,” stated James Vowles, team principal of Williams Racing. “We have enjoyed huge success together in the past and reuniting is a significant step in Williams Racing’s long-term mission to return to the front of the grid. Both Williams and Komatsu are committed to attracting and developing the best young talent in pursuit of our goals and we look forward to working together again.”
With operations in more than 140 countries, Komatsu is a global provider of premium heavy equipment, services and solutions that support customers in industries such as construction, mining, forestry, material handling and industrial machinery. The company introduced the world’s first autonomous dump truck in 2008 and is helping customers advance towards carbon neutrality with its growing range of electric, hybrid and fuel cell construction and mining equipment.
Williams Racing is one of the world’s most iconic Formula One teams. The British outfit has been competing at the highest level for almost five decades, amassing 114 victories, 313 podiums and 128 pole positions in that time. Williams Racing has also won nine constructors’ championships, making them the second most successful team in the history of the sport.