REPORT: Saudi-Backed Aramco Set to Replace Petronas as Mercedes’ F1 Title Sponsors

Published 10/17/2021, 8:06 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 25: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes WO9 on track during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)


Much like Ferrari and Marlboro, there was an almost inseparable bond developing between the defending champions, Mercedes, and their title sponsors, Petronas. However, in a shocking turn of events, the Malaysian oil company are all set to terminate their relationship with the Brackley outfit.

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Mercedes made their way into Formula 1 in 2010, with Petronas coming up as the biggest backers of the then mid-field team. It was the starting point of the company’s reign in the sport. And since then, Petronas managed to sneak their fame into other motorsport series, including MotoGP and Formula-E.

One can even say that Petronas’ rapid evolution of lubricants and oil formulas played a massive role in offering Mercedes an edge over their rivals in the hybrid era. Consequently, Petronas and Mercedes, together, have won a total of 14 championship trophies, including 7 driver’s titles.

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Now, after 12 years of a healthy partnership with Mercedes, Petronas will likely announce their withdrawal from F1 soon.

Who will be replacing Petronas as title sponsors?

According to Decal Spotters, Mercedes will be signing a deal with Saudi Arabian oil company, Aramco, as a replacement for Petronas.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 10, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas crosses the line to win the race REUTERS/Murad Sezer

This doesn’t really come as a shock as, in recent years, Formula 1 has been gaining recognition from middle-east countries. And now, hardly months after announcing the debut of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in F1, the Saudi oil giants will soon sponsor one of the strongest teams in recent history.

Aramco already signed a multi-year deal as an F1 Global Partner ahead of the 2020 season.

Why are Petronas terminating the Mercedes partnership?

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Earlier this August, Petronas had affirmed that they would be leaving MotoGP, and the reason being the COVID-19. The company’s financial structure took a serious hit, as it recorded multi-million losses since 2020 citing low oil demands, and consequently, low prices.

Sparks fly as Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Hence, in a bid to regain some financial stability, Petronas will likely stay away from F1 and MotoGP. This is also the first time since the early 90s that Petronas will remain uninvolved with world-class motorsport championships.

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Overall, this is certainly a huge change for Mercedes, and we could well be looking forward to yet another new livery after Blue and Black. So, what colors do you think will engulf the Mercedes cars next season?

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Rohit Kumar

1439 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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