Emirates strikes five-year F1 deal

Emirates Airlines is making a return to Formula 1 after striking a five-year deal to become the global partner of the sport.

Bernie Ecclestone: F1 commercial boss welcomed Emirates partnership deal
Bernie Ecclestone: F1 commercial boss welcomed Emirates partnership deal

Emirates last had a presence in F1 in 2006, when it sponsored the McLaren racing team, but this lasted just a year.

The latest deal was thrashed out by Emirates chairman Sheikh bin Saeed al-Maktoum and F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone. One report said the deal was worth around $200m (£127m).

The agreement, announced today, means that Emirates will have a branding presence at 15 races of the 2013 season.

Branding will be displayed on circuit bridges, ground signs and in the F1 paddock.

Sheikh bin Saeed al-Maktoum said: "This is an exciting global opportunity to align two world-leading brands. The ambition, cutting-edge technological standards and worldwide reach of Formula 1 go hand in hand with Emirates' vision and ambition."

Emirates already has a presence in rugby, tennis and football, including shirt sponsorships of AC Milan, Arsenal and Paris-Saint Germain football clubs.

Gulf states have invested significant funds in F1, primarily by investing funds into the construction of circuits to stage Grand Prix in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

Ecclestone said: "Emirates has a first class international reputation and I’m very pleased to welcome such a prestigious company as a global partner of Formula 1."