Malaysian oil company Petronas is set to part ways with Mercedes AMG F1 with Saudi oil giants Aramco lined up to take its place.
Petronas and Mercedes have a decade-long history to look back on. The two have won 7 Constructors and Drivers’ Championships together.
Since its introduction to F1 in 2010, Petronas has grown to become an important name in the sport. A huge part of Mercedes’ dominance in the turbo-hybrid era has been due to the rapid evolution of Petronas lubricants and oil formulae.
The Malaysian state-owned company suffered massive losses after the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic. As a result, they recorded millions of dollars in losses due to lower oil prices and more demand.
Black is King. 🖤🤩 pic.twitter.com/C13Iw4ScjP
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) October 17, 2021
It was evident that Petronas would be implementing cost-cutting measures, even in the world of F1. This news comes after they announced earlier in August that they will be stepping away from motorcycle racing as well.
Saudi oil giant Aramco set to take over as title sponsor
Another state owned company, Aramco, is set to take over as Mercedes title sponsor from 2022. In 2020, Aramco signed a $450 million deal, making them a global partner of F1.
As of now, Aramco have naming rights to 3 Grand Prixs and also work to support F1’s E-Sport division. Fans have however been criticizing their involvement in the sport. The Saudi government’s human rights record and habit to ‘sportswash’ things have not gone unnoticed.
According to reports, in spite of the success they enjoyed on track, Petronas was not happy with Mercedes. They did not like the way the Silver Arrows treated them as title sponsors.
There were talks between Mercedes and Aramco back in 2020 during which Petronas began negotiating with Formula 1. If Mercedes signed with Aramco, it was Petronas who would be taking up the role of global partner. In the end, the German manufacturers decided to stay with Petronas.
INEOS, who are part owners and the main sponsor of Mercedes AMG F1 signed a deal with Aramco in 2019. The British company have invested in the construction of three plants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Mercedes and Aramco will be starting their partnership in 2022. The company’s blue green palette will replace the turquoise of that of Petronas.