CHINA GRAND PRIX: MercedesAMG-Petronas ran on Petronas-developed fuel and lubricants
NICO Rosberg's first-ever win in the Formula One China Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday is a big boost for MercedesAMG-Petronas.
While German car company Mercedes Benz celebrated its first win as a constructor in Formula One since 1955, Petronas celebrated its second as a sponsor.
The first win for Petronas came in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, when Swiss team BMW-Sauber, which the national oil company then sponsored, scored a one-two finish through Polish driver Robert Kubica and German driver Nick Heidfeld.
"Sunday's win was more meaningful to us. In 2008, we were just with the BMW-Sauber team as sponsor, but this time we're with MercedesAMG-Petronas as a technical partner," said Petronas Motorsports head Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz.
"This time, we actually played a role in the victory as we developed the fluid technology solutions for the team. The cars ran on Petronas' fuel, lubricants and liquids developed by our team."
Petronas is Formula One's longest existing sponsor as its involvement began with the then Red Bull-Sauber team in 1995. Its association with the team began in 2010, after the German manufacturer bought over the championship-winning BrawnGP team.
"This is not about just Petronas paying them big money for sponsorship. From the beginning, our team, based in Germany and at our lubricant centre in Italy, developed the fluids used in the Formula One cars," said Anita.
Three Malaysians were involved in the multinational team that developed the lubricants the team used in April 2010, and by the start of last year's Formula One campaign, Petronas provided all the team's lubricants and fuels.
"The fuel took longer to develop, but ultimately all the technology goes into our Primax 97 or 95 fuels, which are used by road users.
"On the business side, Petronas also benefits from a tie-up with Daimler AG (the owner of Mercedes)."
Having been in the mid-table with Sauber, Petronas now looks to finally go hand-in-hand with a title-challenging team in MercedesAMG-Petronas.
"The team have been working really hard and after last year, with the car not performing as expected, they've now shown that they've got their act together."