Marlboro to end McLaren sponsorship

The international tobacco giant Philip Morris Ltd. announced today that it will be terminating the Marlboro sponsorship of Team McLaren at the end of the 1996 season. The Marlboro McLarens seven Constructors' Championships between 1974 and 1992, ...

Marlboro to end McLaren sponsorship

The international tobacco giant Philip Morris Ltd. announced today that it will be terminating the Marlboro sponsorship of Team McLaren at the end of the 1996 season.

The Marlboro McLarens seven Constructors' Championships between 1974 and 1992, including four straight in the late 80s and early 90s, as well as nine Drivers' Championships. However, since the 1993 season, the team has been struggling to regain the former glory days. While McLaren is fourth in the 1996 Constructors' Championship, the team has not won a race since Ayrton Senna's victory in the 1993 season finale in Adelaide.

The managing director of McLaren, Ron Dennis, said "We are, of course, disappointed that we were unable to reach an agreement." "We are very proud of our longstanding affiliation with Marlboro and certain that the team will continue to achieve the kind of successes that made the Marlboro McLaren team unique in the history of Formula One."

The Marlboro colours, which have graced the McLarens since 1974, were estimated to have provided McLaren with some US$30M per year. The team is currently searching for new sponsors, and is rumoured to be in discussions with rival tobacco company West.

Philip Morris confirmed that they are continuing to sponsor Formula One. It is expected that the bulk of the sponsorship will now be directed to Ferrari.

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