Petronas retains F1 presence by renewing Mercedes deal
Petronas, the Malaysian oil and gas company, will continue to feature in Formula 1 despite its home grand prix dropping off the calendar next year, having renewed its long-running title sponsorship of the Mercedes team.
Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, president and group chief executive of Petronas, announced the 'multi-year' renewal at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, won by Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, at the weekend.
The deal was due to expire at the end of the 2018 season.
In a statement, Mercedes said: “Although the race (Malaysian Grand Prix) is dropping off the calendar after this season, Datuk Wan Zul's visit to Spielberg (the host circuit of the Austrian GP) saw him let the world in on a little secret we have shared for several months: a multi-year extension of the title partnership signed late last year which will cement more than a decade of partnership between Mercedes and Petronas.”
Petronas has been the title sponsor of Mercedes since the 2010 season, and the team has been the most successful on the grid in recent years, with drivers' and constructors' world titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The company was previously the title sponsor of the BMW Sauber team, but the agreement came to end when BMW, the German car maker, pulled out of the sport at the end of the 2009 campaign.
In April, it was confirmed that this year’s Malaysian Grand Prix would be the last for the foreseeable future after the country’s government relinquished the hosting rights earlier than planned.
The Sepang International Circuit has staged the race, with Petronas as sponsor, since 1999, and had a hosting contract through to 2018, but agreement has been reached for it to end before then.
The final Malaysian Grand Prix will take place on 1 October.