Petrobras’ sponsorship of the McLaren team has been terminated with immediate effect, at the behest of Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro.

Rumours of the split between the team and Petrobras – which is 64% owned by the government – have been swirling since October, and just two weeks out from the Brazilian Grand Prix both parties have brought an original five-year agreement to an early end.

“We would like to thank Petrobras for their partnership and support,” McLaren CEO Zak Brown said.

“We have great respect for their technical and scientific capabilities, and there is no doubt the company’s technicians have made substantial progress in the time we have been working together. We wish everyone at Petrobras every success and hope to see them back in the sport again in the future.”

“We recognise the importance of McLaren in global motorsport and we are very satisfied with the results delivered during the two years of our partnership,” added Petrobras CEO Roberto Castello Branco.

“The project allowed Petrobras to develop high-technology gasoline and lubricants through research with new raw materials and tests performed in extreme conditions.

“The technological development will be used in lubricant and fuel products. We see in McLaren a commitment to innovation and also the possibility of future partnerships.”

McLaren has been without a title sponsor since the departure of Vodafone at the end of the 2013 season.

Image via McLaren

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Geoff Burke

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