PETRONAS: A POSITIVE PARTNERSHIP

AIC’s Luke Truskinger and Aidan Koay recently spoke with Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas about their favorite PETRONAS experiences

The PETRONAS brand is synonymous with Mercedes-AMG in F1. Together, they have dominated the modern Formula One era by winning a historic seventh consecutive World Constructors’ Championship at the end of the 2020 season.
The successes achieved over the years underscore the dynamic collaboration between PETRONAS and The Silver Arrows and demonstrates the relentless determination and talent of its workforce while giving testimony to the prowess of the company’s fluid technology solutions.
Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 finished first and second in the driver the 2020 Formula One World Championship, with champion Lewis Hamilton and runner-up Valtteri Bottas quick to recognize the team’s partnership with PETRONAS as a driving force in its success.
Great partnerships deliver results for the team and the sponsor both on and off the track, so marketing activations are par for the course of any successful relationship. Unsurprisingly, both Hamilton and Bottas have plenty of stories to tell.
“I think the most unique and fun experience I had was we went to Imbak forest, not far from Kuala Lumpur, and we went out to where they were doing a lot of research within the forest in biodiversity medicine – that was quite an interesting visit,” Hamilton said.
“Going to the (PETRONAS) Twin Towers for the first time was amazing, because I remember seeing it on TV in a movie, and to then finally get there and see these iconic buildings and not only that, but then see how diverse it is inside. You go in there, there’s a real diverse range of people, and lots of women from different backgrounds. And they’re…powering those towers and keeping PETRONAS alive.

“I’ve had so many unbelievable experiences with fans. (To) pick up an odd one…I got a pair of boxer shorts once given to me from a fan, and there’s no way they were going to fit me, they were the tiniest things. I thought maybe she wanted me in a picture of them or something like that, but it was quite funny.
“I’ve met some incredible young people who are battling diseases who have been incredibly inspiring. Even just in Australia, in Melbourne, I’ve been out to the hospital and seen some people going through some really difficult times and been massively inspired by the journey of them and their families.
“One of the greatest experiences I had, I went to a theatrical show in London and when I was leaving the show, I bumped into this lady. I know she was obviously not expecting to see me, and she was like, ‘Oh my God…your race in 2007, I was in hospital going through cancer and through chemo’ and she is like ‘you got me through it.’ And I was like, ‘No, I didn’t. You got yourself through it’ and she said “no, but just your races were uplifting.’
“For me, that was a lot to digest because when I’m in that race, I had no idea that I would be impacting someone in that way. So that’s why I always say we win and we lose together because I feel like we build this connection and then we ride the storm kind of out together, right?
“And there’s days where I have lows and the fans pick me up and I’d like to hope and think that there’s days that I put on some decent results and help someone maybe get past that short moment or long moment. So, it’s an amazing experience. And I never ever thought that I’d even have fans, so it’s something still that I find difficult to grasp.
“The power of the fans really creates the event, and I can’t wait till it’s back fully to normal and we can just continue to have lots and lots of people come.”

For Bottas, the PETRONAS Twin Towers is also a standout.
“The first time I got to go to the PETRONAS Twin Towers (was one of the coolest). It was really, really cool because obviously I knew the towers by the name for a long time and finally when you get up there it’s pretty cool view, and it’s a long way with an elevator. We went through the different offices and seeing all the people there, there’s so many people working for the company and feeling that support – yeah that was really special,” Bottas said.
“I really enjoyed the Orchid Ride and Run thing; I’ve done it a couple of times. It’s always a nice event and I’ve won the race. I don’t know if it’s a race, but for me it was. And I’ve made some Malaysian cooking as well, like some traditional pancakes, that kind of stuff. So, I’ve done some cool stuff (as part of marketing activations).
“Obviously (with COVID-19) I’ve missed really meeting race fans lately. It’s good to see now some spectators on the grandstand, but it’s been a while that we’ve had actually like proper fan meetings.
I always find it quite funny when they give me some kind of gifts. Sometimes they are, for me it can be something like a little bit strange food or something like that.
“I’ve had autographs being asked to sign on their skin, whether it’s about arm or chest or these kinds of things, and then they tell me that they’re not going to shower for two weeks just to keep the autograph. So, things like that (are quite funny). I definitely miss the support physically from all the fans.”
PETRONAS Lubricants International offers different ranges of lubricants for passenger cars, commercial and heavy vehicles, transmission and hydraulic systems, agriculture and earthmoving machinery, motor bikes and industrial and manufacturing equipment under different brands such as Syntium, Urania, Tutela, Ambra, Akcela, and Sprinta.

For more on PETRONAS Lubricants International Australia, visit www.pli-PETRONAS.com/au or contact LubeSales.AU@pli-petronas.com (Australia) LubeSales.NZ@pli-petronas.com (New Zealand) or call on +61 2 8833 4200.