Santander could remain a sponsor of the McLaren team next year despite the Spanish bank's high profile new deal with arch rivals Ferrari.

The rumours first emerged on Thursday, when Santander CEO Emilio Botin was asked at Monza about the expiring McLaren deal and he replied that it had contributed markedly to the company's profile in Britain.

It is also suggested that Lewis Hamilton, McLaren's lead driver, is to be sponsored by Abbey, the British arm of Santander with an identical logo, in a deal to be announced in the coming days.

It would not be the first time that McLaren and Ferrari have shared a sponsor. In the 90s, both outfits enjoyed backing by the cigarette brand Marlboro.