F1’s deal with one of its Global Partners is coming to an end; already believed to have a replacement lined up.

Formula 1 is on the search for a new airline sponsor after Dubai-based Emirates reportedly backed out of negotiations, as was first reported by SportsBusiness.

With the deadline for the extension passing, Formula 1 now needs to fill a hole left behind by the airline.

From our understanding, Formula 1 was asking for double what Emirates currently pays ($25 million per year), a fee the airline felt was “too much”.

Emirates has been an F1 partner since 2013, well before the Drive to Survive boom and Liberty Media takeover. In addition to exclusive sponsorship rights for 15 of the races, Emirates also got permission to set up an entertainment program with special fan zones during the race weekend and VIP treatment for special ticket holders.

What’s next?

There is an understanding that Qatar Airways could be the brand that fills the gap, joining other top-tier Global Partners like DHL and Heineken.

Formula 1 went racing in Qatar for the first time in 2021 and is set to return in 2023 after taking a break in 2022 for the FIFA World Cup.

Domenicali ties?

Qatar has links to F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali, through his previous position at Lamborghini.

The Qatari Investment Authority owns 17% of the Volkswagen Group, with Lamborghini falling under the VW umbrella.

Domenicali was previously CEO of Lamborghini after leaving his post as Ferrari Team Principal.