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ExxonMobil is said to be jumping ship from McLaren to Red Bull in Formula One, having worked with the former for 21 years and celebrated four world titles and 78 race wins together, according to reports from Auto Motor und Sport and Motorsport.com.

The Woking, England-based team has been facing a downturn in on-track fortunes, and news from the Mexico F1 Grand Prix has emerged that the oil company is said to be departing for the Red Bull Racing F1 team. Until now, Red Bull Racing has been in partnership with Total, Renault’s current oil partner.

With its last race win in 2012, its last drivers’ championship win in 2008 courtesy of Lewis Hamilton, and its last constructors’ title in 1998 with Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard at their respective wheels, the loss of a major sponsor may seem to reflect the squad’s ongoing struggles.

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However, BP and Castrol is tipped to be returning to F1 and joining forces with McLaren when it does, rumoured to be a $30 million (RM125.9 million) deal in the making. It is reported that the Renault works team is also eyeing a deal with the British petroleum company.

Auto Motor und Sport reported that the separation has come as a result of rumoured arguments with team management, as the price to performance ratio wasn’t right. It added that the BP-Castrol deal is less lucrative than McLaren’s current one with Mobil, which may have effects on the McLaren-Honda’s performance.

This season, McLaren lost Tag Heuer as a sponsor – also to Red Bull – after 30 years of partnership with the luxury watchmaker. McLaren chief, Ron Dennis admitted to Autosport last year that the separation from Tag Heuer was due to a falling out with Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver because Dennis “didn’t share his view on a radical approach to sponsorship.”