Mercedes F1 Renews Title Sponsorship With Malysian State Oil, Gas Firm Petronas
Malaysian state oil and gas firm Petronas signed a multi-year extension to its title sponsorship of Formula 1 team Mercedes "despite Malaysia dropping off the race calendar after this season," the team said on Saturday, according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. The deal "was signed at the end of last year but kept under wraps by both parties." Petronas President & Group CEO Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said, "We intend to stay the course" (REUTERS, 7/15). ESPN.com's Laurence Edmondson reported Mercedes "debunked" former F1 team Owner Eddie Jordan's theory that it is "planning to pull out of the sport at the end of next year." Jordan "has twice gone on the record saying the Mercedes' board is planning to exit the sport" at the end of '18, claiming that two of its "big commercial contracts" with major sponsors Petronas and UBS are due to expire at the same time. Wan Ariffin said, "There is a renewed vitality and a new level of energy in the sport this year. With new rules and regulations for this year, and many new things for the fans, the sport is increasing in terms of audience and that's great" (ESPN.com, 7/15).