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Petronas becomes F1’s first regional partner

Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas has been unveiled as the first regional sponsor of the Formula One motor-racing series.

The deal covers China, Italy and Mexico and names Petronas as F1’s regional sponsor for fuel and lubricants in the three countries. The length of the deal was not disclosed.

Petronas has served as the title sponsor of the Mercedes F1 team since 2010 and its regional sponsorship deal further strengthens its presence within the sport.

Petronas will be granted a range of rights in China, Italy and Mexico as part of the deal. The company has previously sponsored the F1 Festival in Shanghai and was one of the partners of F1 in Schools, the competition which seeks to introduce children to the sport.

Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations for Formula One, said: “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with the Petronas team to activate and expose their brand in innovative and exciting ways. Regional sponsors are a new category of F1 sponsorship focused on targeted markets and is a by-product of the investment we have made to drive deeper engagement for our partners to engage fans and deliver results for their brands. Building on their partnership with Formula One and Mercedes, Petronas will be prominent in F1’s activities in China, Italy and Mexico.”

Zahariah Abdul Rahman, senior general manager of group strategic communications at Petronas, added: “This agreement reaffirms Petronas’ commitment to leverage on Formula 1 to enhance and accelerate our brand-building efforts globally, especially in target markets where we operate – acting as an extension of the successful partnership we share with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.”

Petronas first entered F1 in 1995 when it partnered with the Sauber team, and the company played a key role in taking the series to Malaysia, which staged a grand prix from 1999 to 2017. Petronas signed a multi-year extension to its title sponsorship of Mercedes in July.