Formula One champions Mercedes have confirmed a five-year principal partnership with Ineos, the petrochemicals firm owned by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s.
It was initially reported in January that the contract would see Ineos pay the UK-based motorsport outfit UK£20 million (US$25.8 million) per year, meaning the deal could see the company part ways with a total UK£100 million (US$129.2 million).
The sponsorship deal sees the pair build on their performance partnership announced at the end of 2019, which will lead to knowledge being shared between Mercedes and Ineos’ cycling and sailing teams.
The principal partnership also means the Ineos logo will feature on the Mercedes Formula One car from the start of the 2020 season.
Mercedes is yet to commit to the 2021 Formula One season, but team principal and chief executive Toto Wolff hinted that the partnership with Ineos demonstrates the German manufacturer’s commitment to the sport beyond 2020.
“We are in this for the long term,” Wolff told reporters. “Mercedes provides a great marketing platform for our brand. This is what we do, we build race cars and we build road cars. Formula One is the halo platform for hybrid engineering.
“We like the platform, but at the same time we are in negotiations with the rights holders, and things need to be sorted out.
“But the partnership is something that clearly indicates our wish to continue our successful journey in Formula One.”
The deal also further strengthens Ineos’ presence in sport. Ratcliffe’s company recently sponsored the Ineos 1:59 Challenge, which saw Eliud Kipchoge run a marathon in under two hours, while it has also purchased French top-tier soccer club OGC Nice.
“The Mercedes team is a leader in global sport and have consistently shown that they are at the forefront of technological innovation and human performance,” Ratcliffe said. “Their grit and determination to redefine what is possible makes them a natural fit for Ineos.
“By strengthening our partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas it will allow us to identify and unlock even greater performance gains across the wider Ineos sports family.”