Oil giant Petrobras, most noted for its involvement with Williams, is back in Formula 1, after forming a technical partnership with McLaren. The agreement provides for a technology partnership to develop high-performance fuel and lubricants, and the partnership may be extended to other strategic areas, such as the sharing of technologies between the parties. The Petrobras brand will be displayed on the team's cars, uniforms and physical facilities.
"Partnerships are strategic for Petrobras. The technologies developed for Formula 1 will be transferred to the products we offer our customers, and being at the forefront of fuel and lubricant development is of value to our company, its shareholders and customers," said Petrobras' CEO, Pedro Parente.
"Brazil's passion for Formula 1 is legendary," added Zak Brown, "and the country has produced some of the most iconic names in Formula 1 history. We are delighted to deepen our relationship with Brazilian F1 fans through our partnership with Petrobras, a flagship brand for the nation. Petrobras is an ambitious organisation and we look forward to McLaren being an accelerator and enhancer in their brand-building efforts."
As part of the agreement, Petrobras, through its CENPES Research Centre, will develop gasoline and engine lubricants specially formulated for the team, which will be used in races in the 2019 season. The company will have a laboratory in the McLaren team's garage during practice sessions and races, allowing real-time analysis of fuel performance.
Petrobras' Director of Production Development and Technology, Hugo Repsold, emphasised F1's contribution to the development of next-generation fuels: "We consider Formula 1 the best possible laboratory for testing new fuels and lubricants due to the extreme conditions to which it subjects engines. After being tested to their limits, new fuels and lubricants will be applied in conventional cars and used by our consumers in their daily lives".
In the view of Petrobras' Executive Manager for Communication and Branding, Bruno Motta, this partnership is strategic not only in terms of brand visibility and image strengthening, but is also directly connected to the company's business: "This deal is completely aligned with our brand positioning, which values knowledge and our unique technical capabilities to develop solutions. It is also associated with one of the main strategies in our Business and Management Plan, which is to prepare the company for a future based on a low-carbon economy by developing high-quality, highly energy-efficient fuels", Motta said.
"The effective development of the fuels and lubricants we race is a mission-critical contribution to our primary objective of success in Formula 1," said Eric Boullier. "Petrobras is already highly experienced and successful in Formula 1 and we are extremely impressed by the resources and specialists at their disposal. The CENPES research and development facility in Rio is world-class and has quickly demonstrated to McLaren, and our engine partner Renault, its capability to deliver the best. We look forward to a long and highly successful partnership with Petrobras."