2016 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W08 - 8

Despite recording 53% lower pre-tax profits in its 2015 financial year against the same period in 2014, Petronas will continue its role as title sponsor and key technical partner of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team.

According to Bernama, the company’s plans to reduce capital expenditure in the wake of low crude oil prices does not include an exit from the sport. “Formula 1 is part of our branding initiatives. Based on last season’s race, we gained higher exposure compared to other oil producers,” said Petronas president and group CEO, Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.

The CEO was reflecting on the success of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team’s successes in the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship season. With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheels of its cars, the team won 16 out of 19 races in the season, and was on the podium for all but two races — the Hungarian GP and the Singaporean GP — resulting in maximum exposure for the Petronas brand. The team’s victories in the 2015 season also marked its second successive Drivers’ and World Constructors Championship titles.

“We are still under agreement with the team (Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1) until 2017. We still have a three-year duration. The commitment is still on and there is no change in strategy,” the CEO exclaimed.

Petronas joined the Formula 1 scene in 1995 with the Sauber-Petronas F1 team. In 2009, the company made the switch to back the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team upon its founding.