The McLaren Formula One team could be in big trouble soon, especially in the financial department. As it turns out, the British outfit will likely be parting ways with one of their biggest sponsors, Petrobras.
The Brazilian oil company had expressed their desire to leave their five-year contract for a while. Now, it seems like they have finally reached an understanding with the Woking outfit and will split.
The oil company is partially owned by the Brazilian government and were McLaren’s sponsors for some time. In fact, president Jair Bolsonaro took to social media to announce the termination of the relationship.
“In 2018 Petrobras signed an advertising contract of R$782m with McLaren, valid for five years,” Bolsonaro tweeted. “At the moment, the company, by decision of my government, seeks a way to terminate the contract.”
Now, it has transpired that discussions about the future of the McLaren-Petrobras relationship have been going on for some time. Zak Brown hopes that they can have a positive response from the Brazilian oil giants.
“As far as fuel and lubricant, we have a partnership with Petrobras, and provisions in our agreement to be able to continue down that path,” he told Motorsport.com.
However, Brazilian media has published that the contract has been terminated and an official government document stated: “An unjustifiable Petrobras sponsorship agreement for the McLaren Formula 1 team – worth £ 163 million – has been terminated.”
McLaren have responded saying: “Such matters are commercially confidential and therefore we are not able to comment further at this time.”
The McLaren team have been on a great run this season, with their drivers, Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris. In fact, they have established themselves as the 4th best team on the grid, behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. They had some competition from the factory Renault team, but McLaren emerged as the more well-developed car.