February 20, 2018 / 2:22 PM / 6 months ago

Motor racing: McLaren agree long-term deal with Petrobras

LONDON (Reuters) - Former world champions McLaren have agreed a long-term partnership with Brazilian state oil company Petrobras, the Formula One team announced on Tuesday.

The logo of Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras is pictured in the company headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Petrobras most recently sponsored the Williams team, leaving at the end of 2016.

McLaren were the team that provided the late Brazilian Ayrton Senna with his three world championships in 1988, 1990 and 1991.

Brazilian double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi also won the 1974 title with McLaren, who used fuels and lubricants supplied by BP and its Castrol brand last year.

McLaren are starting a new partnership with Renault this season after three difficult years with Honda, with whom they had been successful during the Senna era.

The team currently have Spaniard Fernando Alonso, a double world champion, and Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne as their line-up.

There are no Brazilian drivers currently in Formula One following the retirement of Felipe Massa at the end of 2017.

McLaren are the second-most successful team in Formula One history but have not won the constructors’ title since 1998. They last won a race in 2012.

The season starts in Australia on March 25.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge

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