Despite the legal threats from an Italian consumer rights group, Ferrari will continue to run the Mission Winnow branding on the SF1000.
Ferrari launched their challenger for the 2020 season, the SF1000, on February 11, but it didn’t take long for things to go a little pear-shaped.
The non-profit organisation Codacons would call for the SF1000 to be seized due to the Mission Winnow branding – a Philip Morris International initiative, Codacons argued that the branding is intended to get past laws preventing tobacco promotion in Europe.
But the company has confirmed that this isn’t the first time they have been involved with such legal threats.
Philip Morris International’s vice-president of communications Tommaso Di Giovanni told RaceFans “this is not the first time [Codacons] has made such threats”.
“In 2019 a similar complaint filed by the organisation was rejected by the Italian Antitrust Authority as ‘manifestly groundless’,” he added.
Ever since Ferrari debuted the Mission Winnow branding at the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix they have faced several obstacles.
At only ten races out of the 21 last year did the branding actually feature on the Ferrari car during race weekends.
And it seems it will continue that way with Di Giovanni saying the Mission Winnow branding will continue to appear at “selected F1 races” in 2020.
“Mission Winnow continues to be the title partner of Scuderia Ferrari,” Di Giovanni explained. “The 2020 livery will continue to feature the Mission Winnow logo and wordmark at selected F1 races.
“Our initiative has triggered a lot of curiosity, empathy and candor and it will continue to be a dialogue-opening platform for us. Regrettably, we know that some may have pre-conceived ideas about us and have expressed reservations about what they feel are our true intentions.
“Big changes start with an open, honest conversation. Mission Winnow is an initiative to encourage dialogue around positive change; our own and that of others. Through Mission Winnow, we want to let the world know how we have an ambition vision for the future; to share our pride in the transformation that the people of PMI have achieved so far and will continue to achieve.
“While we believe that our initiative fits with all applicable laws and regulations, we do not wish to create any controversy around our partnership with Scuderia Ferrari. As such, we may find alternative ways at certain races to show our support of Scuderia Ferrari and our winnowing spirit through the 2020 race season.”
McLaren also has the backing of a tobacco company, that being British American Tobacco with the MCL35 sporting BAT’s Velo brand this today – the company describe it as an oral product which has nicotine in it, but not tobacco.