Formula One and Big Tobacco may have parted ways years ago, but the alliance between Ferrari and Marlboro continues on, apparently as strong as ever.

Though neither party has made any official announcement or revealed any details of the arrangement, reports from the motorsport press indicate that the Scuderia and Philip Morris – the tobacco company which owns the Marlboro brand – have signed an extension of their longstanding partnership.

Marlboro first arrived in Maranello way back in 1973, ramping up over the years to become its main sponsor by '93. The Italian outfit changed its name to Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro after the tobacco brand parted company with McLaren in '97. After tobacco advertising was ultimately banned in 2006 (at least in Europe), Ferrari was forced to remove the Marlboro branding from its cars, but the name stuck – and so did the logo, in various forms of obscurity and subliminality through 2010.

The Marlboro name was dropped from the team's handle in 2011, but that didn't stop the two from renewing their partnership. And now they've reportedly extended again through 2018. Though the deal hardly comes as a surprise (even given the complete lack of discernible public association between the two), we don't doubt that Maurizio Arrivabene – the former Marlboro exec who recently took over the struggling team – had something to do with it.

UPDATE: A spokesman for Scuderia Ferrari downplayed the significance of the story, telling Autoblog by correspondence that "the contract is extended through 2018 and details are confidential."

UPDATE 2: Philip Morris International responded to our inquiry with the following statement: "Our agreement with Ferrari has been extended beyond 2015, but we are not in a position to provide financial or other details. This partnership provides us with opportunities such as enabling our adult consumers and business partners to experience motor racing through Ferrari factory visits and attending F1 races."


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