The first Formula 1 race sponsored by Saudi Aramco took place on Sunday at the Austrian Grand Prix track.
Mercedes racing driver Valtteri Bottas took home the first win of the season after a dramatic race that saw nearly half of the competitors fail to complete the circuit. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc took second, while McLaren's Lando Norris took third place and secured his first Formula One podium.
Aramco, the world’s most valuable company, announced the partnership in March, which is the company’s first global partnership with a major sporting event.
“We are thrilled to be sponsoring Formula 1. Millions of people around the world saw Aramco’s branding along the racing circuit today for the first time. As the world’s largest energy supplier and an innovation leader, our ambition is to find game-changing solutions for better, more efficiently performing engines and cleaner energy. Partnerships such as this are important to help us to deliver this goal,” a spokesperson for Saudi Aramco told Al Arabiya English.
The sponsorship agreement will see Aramco’s branding featured trackside on events throughout 2020. Aramco will also become a title sponsor for several races throughout the season, the sixth such sponsor.
“We are excited to partner with Formula 1, a strong global sports brand with millions of fans around the world. As the world’s largest energy supplier and an innovation leader, we have the ambition to find game-changing solutions for better-performing engines and cleaner energy. Partnerships like these are important to help us to deliver on our ambitions,” Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said at the time of the announcement.
The long-awaited F1 2020 season kicked off with qualifying on Saturday. The season had been postponed due to the global lockdown in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and is the latest a F1 season has ever started in a year.
Some races have already been cancelled as a result of the pandemic, including events in Australia, Azerbaijan, and Monaco, among others.
The title race took place Sunday with competitors from 10 different teams from around the world all fighting to take top place. German manufacturer Mercedes has dominated the championship since 2014, returning in 2020 to defend their title for the sixth time in a row.
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