According to Brazilian media reports, Lotus is close to securing a sponsorship deal with Petrobras.

According to Brazilian media reports, Lotus is close to securing a sponsorship deal with Petrobras.

Some of the reports said a deal between the new Malaysian-backed team and the semi-public Brazilian oil company has been done.

But UOL Esporte quoted a Petrobras official, whose employer was last involved in formula one with Williams, as clarifying that a contract is still "under consideration".

It is expected that the talks will be completed by the end of the month.

O Globo said the branding of Petrobras, which had agreed to sponsor Honda in 2009 before the Brawn takeover, will be added to Lotus' green T127 at the Spanish grand prix in May.

That report said the value of the deal is about $9 million, with an official admitting that some talks with other teams have also taken place.

Another source said the value of the Lotus deal is closer to $5m.

Petrobras' technical boss Rogerio Goncalves told UOL Esporte that even if a deal is made, the company would not have enough development time to supply fuel in 2010.

Williams' Petrobras deal ran between 1998 and 2008.

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