Brazil’s Petrobras has signed a technical partnership agreement with the McLaren Formula One team to develop high-performance fuel and lubricants to be used in the 2019 Formula One season. The partnership may be extended to other strategic areas, such as the sharing of technologies between the two parties. The Petrobras brand will be displayed on the team’s cars, uniforms and physical facilities.
McLaren has a deal with BP’s Castrol brand for fuel supply in the 2018 season, which starts on March 25 in Australia.
“Partnerships are strategic for Petrobras. The technologies developed for Formula 1 will be transferred to the products we offer our customers, and being at the forefront of fuel and lubricant development is of value to our company, its shareholders and customers,” said Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente.
Petrobras sponsored the Williams team until the end of 2016, but left the sport amid a series of massive graft scandals at home.
“Brazil’s passion for Formula 1 is legendary and the country has produced some of the most iconic names in Formula 1 history. We are delighted to deepen our relationship with Brazilian F1 fans through our partnership with Petrobras, a flagship brand for the nation. Petrobras is an ambitious organization and we look forward to McLaren being an accelerator and enhancer in their brand-building efforts,” said Zak Brown, executive director, McLaren Technology Group.
As part of the agreement, Petrobras, through its CENPES Research Centre, will develop gasoline and engine lubricants specially formulated for the team, which will be used in races in the 2019 season. The company will have a laboratory in the McLaren team’s garage during practice sessions and races, allowing real-time analysis of fuel performance.
“We consider Formula 1 the best possible laboratory for testing new fuels and lubricants due to the extreme conditions to which it subjects engines. After being tested to their limits, new fuels and lubricants will be applied in conventional cars and used by our consumers in their daily lives,” said Hugo Repsold, Petrobras’ director of Production Development and Technology.
“The CENPES research and development facility in Rio is world-class and has quickly demonstrated to McLaren, and our engine partner Renault, its capability to deliver the best. We look forward to a long and highly successful partnership with Petrobras,” said McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier.
“This deal is completely aligned with our brand positioning, which values knowledge and our unique technical capabilities to develop solutions. It is also associated with one of the main strategies in our Business and Management Plan, which is to prepare the company for a future based on a low-carbon economy by developing high-quality, highly energy-efficient fuels,” said Bruno Motta, executive manager for Communication and Branding, Petrobras.