Imperial Tobacco has played down reports it is looking to return to formula one with Lotus.
Recently, Pastor Maldonado said he would welcome the inspiration of Lotus' black and gold livery - the iconic John Player Special cigarette brand - back to the sport with Enstone.
Tobacco advertising in F1 is banned, but Ferrari continues to be backed by Philip Morris, whose Marlboro colours resemble the imagery on the Italian team's cars and logos.
"For sure, a sponsor is welcome," Venezuelan Maldonado said. "Whoever can join the team, it's always welcome."
But John Player Special parent Imperial Tobacco has played down the rumours.
"As is well known, sponsorship in formula...
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