Mercedes has announced a “long-term extension” of its title partnership deal with Petronas.
The Malaysian national oil and gas company first sponsored the team when it returned to F1 in 2010, with their first victory together coming at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix. Since then, the two have taken a further eight victories – including five in a row so far this year – with the current performance being attributed partly to the fuel developed for 2014.
The partnership extension was announced in the Monaco paddock on Saturday morning and Mercedes executive director (business) Toto Wolff said the impact Petronas has made on the team's performance this season.
“We have entered in to a multi-year extension of our programme,” Wolff said. “It's a programme which is not only a sponsorship but a partnership which has helped us increase performance. Petronas is at the heart of our engine and a major part of our on-track performance this year.”
Daimler chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche was present at the announcement of the partnership extension and said he has seen it evolve over recent years to its current strong position.
“Obviously I'm very glad about this extension of our partnership,” Zetsche said. “It started out as a commercial partnership and we are developing more and more in to one integrated team. That's clearly true on the technical side with how much the collaboration with Petronas has contributed to our success this season and hopefully for a long time.”
Tan Sri Dato' Shamsul Azhar Abbas, president & group CEO of Petronas, said he felt the partnership can still get stronger.
“The technical teams have been working in collaboration together and the result is the one-two finishes over the last couple of races,” he said. “World-class performance is being delivered on-track and off-track … but watch this space, the best is yet to come.”