Marlboro is on the verge of extending its title sponsorship deals with both Ferrari F1 and the Ducati MotoGP teams.
The current deals run until the end of this season, but sources have revealed that negotiations are at an advanced stage for them to be renewed until the end of 2014. It is possible that Ferrari's deal could be announced as early as its new car launch, which takes place in Maranello on Jan. 28.
Although tobacco sponsorship had originally been expected to be eradicated from F1, and many countries ban the display of sponsorship logos, Marlboro has continued its high-profile association with both F1 and MotoGP. A spokesman for Philip Morris, Marlboro's parent company, said that any new deal would be wholly within international law.
"We see no obstacles in the way of extension," said the spokesman. "Our relationship with Ferrari is a real partnership built over a period of over 20 years of constant, mutual support."
Last year Marlboro was forced to abandon its bar code sponsorship design following charges that it was a form of subliminal advertising. It has been replaced this year by an all new logo, which was sported by Ferrari personnel during last week's Wrooom media ski camp event.
Ferrari declined to comment on how close it was to a new deal, but suggested that there was no reason to believe a fresh sponsorship deal would not be agreed. "All conditions (for extension) have been met," he said.
This year marks Marlboro's 40th season as an F1 team sponsor, with the brand having originally entered the sport with BRM in 1971.