Mercedes is reportedly set to part ways with long-standing title sponsor Petronas, and make way for a new major partnership deal with Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco.
If confirmed the news of Petronas' exit from F1 - suggested by veteran F1 reporter Dieter Rencken on Twitter and to be taken with an obvious grain of salt- would come in the wake of the Malaysian oil and gas company's formal announcement in August of its withdrawal from MotoGP.
Petronas entered the Formula 1 arena in 1995 with its sponsorship of the Red Bull-Sauber outfit, but the company rose to prominence in Grand Prix racing along with the works Mercedes team when the latter entered F1 in 2010.
Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest integrated oil and gas company, became a long-term corporate sponsor of Formula 1 in 2020, an involvement that marked the company's first global sponsorship of a major sporting event.
Aramco's current presence in F1 includes trackside branding and title rights to major Formula 1 races.
A potential direct partnership between Mercedes and Aramco may have emerged on the back of a $2 billion investment undertaken in Saudi Arabia by the championship winning team's sponsor and part-owner INEOS.
The British multinational chemicals giant - spearheaded by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and which owns one third of the Mercedes F1 team - announced in June 2019 a significant investment deal with Aramco and French oil giant Total that included the construction of the company's first ever plants in the Middle East.
Mercedes is also rumored to switch its cars back to their original 'Silver Arrows' base color next season, a scheme that could be potentially complimented by Saudi Aramco's famous blue and green gradients.
Formula 1 will race in Saudi Arabia for the first time later this year, with Jeddah hosting a round of the F1 world championship on December 5.