Former British F3 regular Jonathan Kennard got a rare Formula One outing this week, after assisting the Williams team with its aerodynamic testing in preparation for 2009.
The Briton, who won races with Double R and also drove for Alan Docking Racing during his stint in F3, conducted a straight-line test at Williams' favourite 'secret' haunt, Kemble airfield, to help the team shake down the new front and rear wings required for 2009 ahead of the complete aero package's full test in Barcelona next week.
It was a first opportunity to sample F1 power for the 23-year old, who was forced to miss this year's F3 campaign.
"It was a good day and great to be able to drive the new-spec Formula One car for the first time," Kennard admitted, "I would like to extend my thanks to Sir Frank and the team for the opportunity. I enjoyed working through the test programme and assisting the team with their preparations for the 2009 season."
There was some further good news emanating from the Williams camp too, as the team confirmed that long-time partner Allianz would extend its sponsorship deal into a second decade.
The global insurance, banking and asset management provider defied the downturn in the world economy to continue its award-winning sponsorship activation programme, which it has used to communicate road safety and risk management messages built around Formula One.
“Allianz has built extremely effective international awareness campaigns about road safety and risk management around the themes Formula One provides," head of marketing communications Steven Althaus confirmed, "These campaigns have directly and positively impacted our core business activities and this is why our programme with AT&T Williams endures. We are delighted to be extending our agreement with the team.”
Allianz is part of a wider quorum of Williams sponsors who have, or will have, partnered the team for more than ten years, including Accenture and Thomson-Reuters among others.
“I would like to thank Allianz for their valuable and long-term support," team principal Frank Williams said, "Their ongoing association with the team is the greatest validation of our efforts and there is little which can be more satisfying than enduring relationships of this nature.”