Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

McLaren announces Petrobras sponsorship deal to end

2019 F1 season

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McLaren has confirmed its sponsorship deal with Brazilian petrochemicals company Petrobras is to end.

The sponsorship deal, which was announced in February 2018, was publicly criticised by Brazil’s president. Jair Bolsonaro stated in May he wanted to cut the five-year contract short.

The team confirmed the deal had “concluded” in a statement on Monday ahead of next week’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

“Petrobras and McLaren Racing have concluded their technical and sponsorship agreement by mutual consent,” McLaren announced. “The partnership produced clear technological advances in fuels and lubricants and identified opportunities for future collaborations in commercial, technology and social responsibility fields between the two companies.”

Petrobras chief executive officer Roberto Castello Branco said they “recognise the importance of McLaren in global motorsport and we are very satisfied with the results delivered during the two years of our partnership.

“The project allowed Petrobras to develop high-technology gasoline and lubricants through research with new raw materials and tests performed in extreme conditions. The technological development will be used in lubricant and fuel products. We see in McLaren a commitment to innovation and also the possibility of future partnerships.”

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown thanked Petrobras for their support. “We have great respect for their technical and scientific capabilities, and there is no doubt the company’s technicians have made substantial progress in the time we have been working together,” he said.

“We wish everyone at Petrobras every success and hope to see them back in the sport again in the future.”

While McLaren’s cars have carried Petrobras branding this year, the team uses fuel and lubricants from Castrol, as does its engine supplier Renault.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “McLaren announces Petrobras sponsorship deal to end”

  1. Doesn’t seem like this was a good fit to start with, especially as McLaren were using a different fuel and lubricant anyway. Also, a good season by McLaren – they can expect to extract more money from sponsors for next season.

    1. Yes, it does seem odd to give such lavish praise and how valuable their contribution was, which would be understandable if Petrobras were supplying their fuels, oils, etc, but then we discover that Castrol were supplying all that stuff.

  2. I don’t know what effect Bolsonaro had in the ending of this deal, but the fact that Sette Camara wouldn’t get a seat in the next year(s) definitely played a role. Who knows, there might be a big battle for the second Williams seat between the two current teammates at F2 and Petrobras(sponsored Massa in Williams as well) can play a role if they want to have a Brazilian driver on the grid for 2020

  3. Aramco would seem to be the obvious replacement!

  4. Why were they partnered with a fuel/lubricant orientated company when they’re not even using the product? Was Petrobras just giving them money for exposure and promotion then? What projects did Petrobras even do if they weren’t being used for or by McLaren? Seems a bit of a weird arrangement to be honest.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      4th November 2019, 21:12

      Not as weird as calling your engine after a watch brand.

      1. Even less weird than cutting short a economically criticised deal just to endeavour into a worse one: building a brand-new circuit at a failed State.

  5. Place for Kubica’s sponsors? I hope not. I’d rather see him in a hass.

  6. cant petrobras break the sponsership after the brasil grand prix? at least the company can do some promotion in their own country

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