McLaren F1’s Petrobras Deal To Be Terminated (4th Update)

Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren
Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren

UPDATE McLaren have confirmed that its sponsorship deal with Brazilian oil giant Petrobras will be terminated with immediate effect and the companies logos removed from the car for the next race.

Petrobras, which is majority owned – 64 per cent – by the Brazilian government, agreed a five-year sponsorship deal with McLaren at the beginning of the 2018 season but ever since Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in, he has pushed for the deal to be cancelled.

The deal, reportedly worth £163 million, will therefore come to an end ahead of the Brazilian GP, where the logos will no longer be on the MCL34.

"We would like to thank Petrobras for their partnership and support," said McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

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

Petrobras CEO Roberto Castello Branco added: "We recognize 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."

10/21/19 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Petrobras has announced it is leaving McLaren.

In May, we reported that Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras was looking to exit the five-year, $200 million deal it signed just last year.

"At the moment, by decision of my government, Petrobras seeks a way to terminate the contract," controversial new Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro had said.

Now, the Brazilian financial magazine Exame says the government's economy department has confirmed the cancellation.

A document prepared by economics minister Adolfo Sachsida declared that the "unjustifiable" McLaren contract was "terminated".

Petrobras told Brazilian media that it would not comment further, while McLaren said contracts are "commercially confidential".

"We cannot make comment at this time," a spokesperson added. (GMM)

10/18/19 McLaren's F1 sponsorship deal with Brazilian oil company Petrobras looks set to be "brought to an official end within a matter of days." Petrobras, which is 64%-owned by the Brazilian government, is in the first year of a long-term technical partnership with McLaren. But in May, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro revealed he wanted the original five-year partnership to be "called off."

It is understood that discussions between McLaren and Petrobras to end the deal "have been ongoing since." Papers published by Brazil's Ministry of the Economy this week claimed that "the deal is to be finished." A spokesperson for McLaren said, "Such matters are commercially confidential and therefore we are not able to comment further at this time." MOTORSPORT,

Zak Brown's job has to be on the line. The F1 team is a disaster, and they can't even qualify for the Indy 500, beat by some minnow teams. Now Petrobras wants out.
Zak Brown's (left) job has to be on the line. The F1 team is a disaster, and they can't even qualify for the Indy 500, beaten by some minnow teams. Now Petrobras wants out.

05/20/19 McLaren looks set to lose a major sponsor.

The Brazilian state run oil company Petrobras signed a five-year, $200 million deal with the Woking based team last year.

But a new Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, was sworn in this year, and he has announced that the McLaren-Petrobras collaboration will end.

"At the moment, by decision of my government, Petrobras seeks a way to terminate the contract," Bolsonaro said.

Globo reports that a government envoy was at McLaren's UK headquarters last week to negotiate the termination.

It is bad news all round for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso failing to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 over the weekend in the new McLaren entry.

McLaren boss Zak Brown said: "Our contract with Fernando goes beyond the Indianapolis 500."

Brown said he is confident the famous F1 team will eventually return to the top step of the podium.

"As a team we are doing much better than before. I think we will win again in a window of two to ten years," he said.

But at approaching the age of 38, Alonso is unlikely to be at the wheel for that.

Sky Italia quoted an unnamed insider who said the Spaniard wanted to switch to a faster team rather than quit F1 at the end of last year.

"He offered himself for free," the insider is quoted as saying.

McLaren may fail to qualify for the Indy 500, then come this news
McLaren may fail to qualify for the Indy 500, then comes this news

05/19/19 McLaren could be set to lose petrol supplier and major sponsor Petrobras, with the Brazilian organisation looking to “terminate" their contract with the Formula 1 team at the behest of their government who own the majority share of the company.

Just last year, Petrobras signed a deal with McLaren worth £150 million over five years, but it is understood some of the funds went on research and development for the oil company.

The intention was announced on Twitter via the country’s president Jair Bolsonaro.

"In 2018, Petrobras signed an advertising contract of R$782 million with McLaren, valid for 5 years. At the moment, the company, by decision of my government, seeks a way to terminate the contract," he wrote.

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