When PETRONAS entered the competitive world of Formula One (F1) in 1995, it took the first step towards positioning itself as a global brand. PETRONAS has since matured into a global player with operations that span across more than 30 countries mainly in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America.
In line with its vision to be a “Leading Oil and Gas Multinational of Choice”, the partnership with Sauber in 1995 helped accelerate the company’s branding efforts, positioning both PETRONAS and Malaysia on the global stage. These efforts were further enhanced when it secured the F1 Grand Prix title sponsorship rights for Malaysia in 1999, which helped boost PETRONAS’ corporate image and promote Malaysia as a new venue for international motor sports in the region.
Its involvement in F1 has not only increased global awareness of the PETRONAS brand but has also strengthened the company’s technological capabilities through continuous product research and development (R&D) efforts based on technology derived from F1. As the most intense and unforgiving of all motor sports, F1 poses the toughest challenge to man and machine, pitching the world’s best in an ultimate test of speed, performance and endurance.
PETRONAS’ venture into motor sports dates back to 1988, when it was evident that motor sports was the ideal platform to help promote its fuel and lubricant products domestically. Beginning with the sponsorship of a Malaysian rally team competing at the national, regional and international levels, this involvement led to the sponsorship of other teams racing in the high endurance and touring car circuits. From 1993, PETRONAS became actively involved in motorcycle racing at the local, regional and international level.
In addition to promoting both corporation and country to the world, motor sports presented another opportunity to enhance capabilities within PETRONAS in supplementing of its core business – fuel and lubricants. With more than two decades worth of experience has helped to position PETRONAS to make inroads into the marketing and distribution of PETRONAS’ range of lubricants in more than 20 countries in Asia Pacific, South America and Europe.