Petronas has been associated with Mercedes for a while now. Not only is it the outfit’s title sponsor, but it also plays a key role as a technical partner.
According to Stephen Dergent, Petronas’ Head of Market, there have been several benefits while partnering with the Silver Arrows. Additionally, he spoke about the current Mercedes pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
“Well, the answer is two-fold. Of course the relevance for road cars, but also a bit of brand awareness. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas also have a fairly clean reputation, that also makes a difference,” he said.
Max Verstappen – does he ‘fit’ into Mercedes?
There have been rumours on the paddock claiming that Max Verstappen might get signed up with Mercedes. Stephen, however, said that the Dutchman does not really suit the identity of what Mercedes is.
“It also really depends on how you want to market a brand. If you go to Red Bull, then they have a completely different identity than Mercedes, one that Max Verstappen fits perfectly with. That image would perhaps fit a little less well with Mercedes,” he said.
‘Really paid off with Mercedes’
Stephen also talked about how their partnership with Mercedes has been fruitful till now.
“Our program started in 2010, when we entered into a partnership for so-called ‘fluid technology solutions’. Since 2014, this has really paid off with the success of Mercedes.
“Formula 1 is all about marginal gains, especially this year, to be that one millisecond faster. For such details, the most important thing is to share knowledge, because that is where everything starts. A lot of trust is needed from both parties.
“Because we are both title sponsor of Mercedes and the technical partner, everyone is more willing to share confidential information. That information is needed to coordinate everything.
Petronas’ engineers working on-site
He also added how the team works with a revolutionary fuel technology that goes into the construction of the car.
“In concrete terms, it means that we have our own engineers on-site at Mercedes, people who work on the fluids together with the manufacturer of the power unit and the racing team.
“These are fuels but also ‘functional fluids’ as we call them, the engine oil and lubricants. Everything is made in collaboration and that is quite special.”
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