F1 in Schools has announced a long-term partnership with Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco.
The partnership will see the energy and chemicals company become a title sponsor of the F1 in Schools World Finals from 2021 onward.
Competition founder Andrew Denford said that the news provided a boost for his team amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re excited to be partnering with a forward-thinking, innovative company to help us deliver our impressive World Finals,” Denford said.
He added: “Introducing our students to a leader in the fuel and energy sector, with ambitions that fit well with our Challenge, will offer huge learning and career opportunities.”
F1’s Managing Director of Motorsport, Ross Brawn, said that the partnership with Aramco “will open the door to new opportunities and help to connect children globally, ensuring we are offering the best opportunities to build a career in F1.”
Saudi Aramco is a Saudi Arabian state-owned oil and gas company.
It is the second largest company in the world in terms of revenue, only recently surpassed by Apple.
The company entered into a long term, global partnership with Formula 1 earlier in 2020.
The announcement was met by criticism within the F1 community, with Aramco’s track record on global warming and the environment having raised eyebrows given F1’s recent pledge to have a net zero carbon footprint by 2030.
Analysis by The Guardian found that Aramco is the world’s second largest polluter, accounting for 4.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions from 1988 to 2015.
It is only second to China’s use of coal.
The F1-Aramco partnership was rumored to be predicated on a quid pro quo agreement to hold a race in the oil company’s home country. The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was recently confirmed as being on the 2021 F1 calendar.