The Barwa Addax team has underlined its desire to eventually graduate to F1 by signing a partnership agreement with French sports and entertainment agency Lagard?re Unlimited.

The deal will see the company, which currently has a small motorsport interest, work with Addax to grow its current portfolio of sponsors in a bid to provide the platform it needs to join the likes of Virgin and Team Lotus on the F1 grid. The Spanish outfit, which guided new Sauber F1 recruit Sergio Perez to second in the 2010 GP2 Series, is already backed by title sponsor Barwa, as well as Banco Santander and Pepe Jeans, and will continue to sport their colours in both the GP2 and GP3 series this summer.

"The link with Barwa Addax team gives us a great tool in which to enter the motorsports sponsorship market," Lagard?re Unlimited UK president Lawrence Frankopan explained, "We are pleased to be linked to a team like Barwa Addax, which has had such strong results within GP2. We also feel that GP2 is a good platform for sponsors seeking to approach F1 at a later stage, and this is a market in which we see great potential."

Lagard?re Unlimited logos will join those of existing sponsors on the Addax cars in both GP2 and GP3, and team owner Alejandro Agag - who took over the reins from former owner and F1 aspirant Adrian Campos - admitted that he had high hopes of the new partnership.

"We are very excited about our partnership with Lagard?re Unlimited," the Spaniard confirmed, "The potential and vast network of Lagard?re Unlimited makes them the perfect partner for a team like ours which has a strong global focus when it comes to sponsorship. We are positive that the corporation between both our companies will bring great results in the future."

Perez is not the only Addax graduate in F1, as the Mexican rookie joins Vitaly Petrov in the race field, and Romain Grosjean and Lucas di Grassi among those actively looking for reserve and testing roles following previous tastes of life as an F1 driver.

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