Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) announced the extension of its contract with Mercedes-Benz as the title partner for the Formula One (F1) Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team.
The second extension since the partnership was first established in 2009 will bring Petronas’ involvement with the benchmark motorsport to 2020. The announcement ended rumors that both Mercedes and Petronas are pulling out from F1. The contract between the two companies was supposed to end in 2018.
With the extension, Petronas, through its two subsidiaries Petronas Research Centre Sdn Bhd and Petronas Lubricants International, will continue to utilise F1 as a testing ground for its fuels and lubricants.
Datuk Wan Zulkiflee, Petronas president and chief executive officer, said that Malaysia’s state-owned oil and gas company’s (O&G) involvement with motorsports provides a platform for technology advancement, aside from marketing exposure.
“Being an O&G company, we are not new to very sophisticated technology, and this is a platform for us where we have been able to develop our products,” Zulkiflee said.
Petronas said that its collaboration with Petronas has resulted in the development of more than 200 fuels and 100 lubricants and functional fluids, which were commercially launched under the Primax (fuel), Syntium (engine oil) and Tutela (functional fluid) brands.
Petronas has participated in F1 since 1995, when it signed a direct sponsorship deal with Red Bull Sauber F1 team.