Mercedes clinch deal with Petronas

Mercedes GP have signed a long-term title-sponsorship agreement with Malaysian national oil and gas company Petronas.

The team, formerly last season’s Formula One world champions Brawn GP, will be officially known as the Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team, with branding prominent on the car and team liveries.

The news will serve as a major disappointment to both Sauber and Lotus, the latter ahead of their return to F1 next season.

Petronas were previously title sponsor of BMW Sauber prior to the German manufacturer’s withdrawal from the sport at the end of last season.

As for Lotus, they are backed by the Malaysian government, whilst AirAsia, the airline run by team principal Tony Fernandes, is based in Kuala Lumpur.

It is Mercedes, though, who have earned the backing of a company that made a net profit of €10.6bn in a 12-month period up to March this year.

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said: “The collaboration gives our team a fantastic base from which to achieve our ambitions of competing at the top level of Formula One and building on the success of 2009.

“Our plans for the new season are progressing well, as is the development of our 2010 challenger, and we look forward to seeing the car run in the new livery at the Valencia test in February.”

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