For just over three decades tobacco was the key fuel in Formula 1's commercial engine. More than mere sponsors, the big hitters of the industry were F1's kingmakers. In its pomp, Philip Morris International's Marlboro brand and its delegate, John Hogan, moved and shook: the McLaren team we know today came about as a result of a shotgun marriage Hogan arranged between the ailing post-Bruce equipe and Ron Dennis's thrusting young Project Four operation.
Sponsorship has been part of the fabric of motorsport since the very first organised races, although overt sponsorship was restricted by the Commission Sportive Internationale (the FIA's sporting arm) until late 1967. It had become a sticking point because 'invisible' sponsors such as oil companies and spark plug suppliers could only associate themselves with teams and cars in separate advertising, while the tyre manufacturers had their logos in plain sight.
Once the CSI liberalised its stance, teams took full advantage; Colin Chapman's Lotus team wasn't the first to race with full cigarette-brand livery in place, but it was the first prominent team to do it in a big way. Graham Hill was black-flagged during practice for the 1968 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch so his Gold Leaf logo could be struck from the record with parcel tape, but objections diminished with time. Racing in national colours became a thing of the past.