Isn’t it surprising? Especially, after being widely reported that the national oil company will be ending its involvement in F1 as a team sponsor. The choice of Mercedes GP is also unexpected as now Malaysia has its own team in Lotus F1.
The five-year agreement with Mercedes came after Petronas’ deal with BMW Sauber ended in the just concluded 2009 season. Under this new deal, Petronas will be the title partner to the Silver Arrows works team, which will be officially known as the Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team.
The official media statement explains that “this partnership allows related business arrangements with Mercedes that will support Petronas’ international business expansion efforts, particularly in its global lubricant business. The exclusive rights of a title partner and association with the premium, internationally-renowned Mercedes brand will further enhance Petronas and Malaysia’s ongoing global brand positioning efforts. Petronas will also be able to continue to leverage on the extensive international exposure offered by the sport to grow its existing business activities.”
This tie-up also presents Petronas with the opportunity to utilise and leverage on Mercedes’ long motor sport heritage to further supplement its talent development initiatives as part of its contribution towards the development of Malaysia’s motorsports industry, it said.
Petronas will continue to be the title sponsor of the Malaysian Grand Prix, as reported earlier.
The Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team’s race car will make its track debut in its new livery at Valencia on 1 February to start pre-season testing ahead of the 2010 season.