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McLaren to lose Petrobras backing?

NEWS STORY
20/05/2019

Currently seeking to engineer the transfer of his country's Grand Prix from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro is now looking to end Petrobras' sponsorship of the McLaren F1 team.

The oil giant, which is 54% owned by the Brazil government, announced last a year a new deal with McLaren which came into effect this season, having previously sponsored Williams between 1998 and 2008 and then again from 2014. The 5-year deal is understood to be worth around 150m.

At the weekend, Bolsonaro took to social media, tweeting: "In 2018 Petrobras signed an advertising contract of R$782m with McLaren, valid for five years.

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

McLaren is refusing to comment on the claim, which, even if it goes ahead, would still see the Woking outfit receive compensation.

Bolsonaro, who was sworn-in on January 1, following a bitter campaign, during the course of which he was hospitalised after being stabbed, was elected on a manifesto which included the promise to carry out major political and financial reform.

He recently made the F1 headlines when he 'announced' that the 2020 Brazilian Grand Prix will be held in Rio de Janeiro, having represented the state in the Chamber of Deputies between 1991 and 2018.

As a sign of its intentions, Petrobras has ended its backing of the Seletiva de Kart competition which it has funded for two decades.

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