Ferrari ditches Mission Winnow branding for Australia
Ferrari has revealed it has chosen to remove its ‘Mission Winnow’ branding for the opening round of the 2019 Formula 1 season in Australia.
It emerged last month that Australian authorities had launched an investigation into whether the initiative introduced by Ferrari title sponsor Philip Morris late last year contravened laws banning tobacco advertising.
It has been alleged that the Mission Winnow logos are overly similar to the Marlboro ones that were a mainstay of the Ferrari livery prior to 2008.
A Philip Morris representative was adamant that the branding “does not advertise or promote our company’s products” in a statement provided to Motorsport.com.
However, it has now been confirmed Ferrari intends to do away with its Mission Winnow branding for the Australian Grand Prix weekend on March 15-17 – meaning the logos will be removed from the SF90 car itself, the team’s garage panels and personnel uniforms.
Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri confirmed the move at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday.
He said: "There were problems with the health department [in Australia] and there was no time for Philip Morris to find a solution.
"[Mission] Winnow is not a brand, it has nothing to do with tobacco, because it concerns the transition from tobacco to electronic [products].
"In any case, in Australia we will have a surprise for the fans on the car."
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90
Photo by: Stefano Arcari
The first hint at a looming change came when a revised F1 2019 entry list issued last week gave Ferrari’s team name simply as ‘Scuderia Ferrari’, and not ‘Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow’ as originally listed.
It then emerged that the Maranello squad planned to revert to its 2018 team uniforms for Australia, as the 2019 kit features prominent Mission Winnow branding.
Ferrari is expected to bring back the logos after Melbourne, but it has not specifically indicated this will be the case.
Ducati poised to keep branding for Qatar
The Ducati MotoGP team, which is likewise sponsored by Philip Morris and features Mission Winnow branding on its bikes, has also been dragged into the controversy.
A complaint about the Bologna-based outfit’s 2019 livery was lodged by the Italian National Consumer Union (UNC) to the country’s Competition Authority.
Massimiliano Dona, president of the UNC, said: "The fact that Ferrari has decided to call itself only Scuderia Ferrari and no longer Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow, coincidentally before the race in Australia, where the authorities are already investigating to ascertain whether there is a possible circumvention of the tobacco advertising ban, shows our petition has a solid grounding.
"For this reason, we ask that the authorities contacted by us to make a statement before Formula 1 or MotoGP arrives in Italy."
A Ducati spokesperson told Motorsport.com that the team has no plans to alter its livery for this weekend’s opening round of the season in Qatar.
The official team name of ‘Ducati Mission Winnow’ also appears to be unaffected.
Additional reporting by Roberto Chinchero, Sebastian Franzschky, Matteo Nugnes
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images
Mercedes' 2019 F1 car makes older one look "clunky, naive"
What Ferrari and Manchester United fightbacks have in common