Back in the day, Marlboro sponsored both McLaren and Ferrari. The former wore the sponsor's colors, while the latter stayed all red until Philip Morris decided to stop hedging its bets and went all Italian. McLaren was scorned, but got even... eventually. Several years, championships and sponsors down the road, McLaren poached European telecom giant Vodafone away from Ferrari to be its title sponsor. Right above Vodafone's logo on Hamilton's racing suit, however, is that of Santander, the Spanish financial concern that has been rolling out serious bucks for F1 presence the past couple of years. So Ferrari has gotten even by stealing them away.

The switch for Santander, which seems to be taking an aggressive approach to the financial crisis, was confirmed by its president Emilio Botin, to take place starting in 2010. But that's not all. Botin added fuel to longstanding rumors of Fernando Alonso's possible move to the Scuderia by stating that the Spanish bank hopes to work with "the best driver in the world" again soon. The plot thickens.

[Source: F1-Live, Photo by Clive Mason/Getty]


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