Even though its logos are not permitted at any F1 circuit in the world, Marlboro owner Philip Morris International has extended its 'sponsorship' deal with the front-running Ferrari team for another three years.
Following its switch from McLaren - where it enjoyed arguably the most recognisable livery of all time - in 1996, PMI got just two years of visibility for its brand with the Maranello marque, but has continued to back its efforts to reclaim the F1 world title regardless. The latest deal will see PMI and Ferrari remain together until the end of the 2015 campaign, with the main thrust of its association coming in the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro name that goes onto the official entry list and Ferrari's revised team logo, which bears a striking resemblance to the Marlboro chevron that it is no longer able to display.
According to SportsPro Media
, PMI is understood to be stumping up around $160m a season for its association, which began alongside the title sponsorship of McLaren when Marlboro logos first appeared at Ferrari in 1984. Not unsurprisingly, the Prancing Horse was the last F1 team to cease carrying tobacco branding when it was forced to drop the Marlboro logos at the end of 2007, although it attempted to continue subliminally promoting the association via a controversial 'barcode' livery, which is was eventually ordered to abandon last season.