Ferrari have come under scrutiny in the build up to the 2019 season and it is not because of the FIA or due to the fans but because of the ‘Mission Winnow’ branding on their cars(and the driver kit).
Formula 1 has stayed away from cigarette advertising for some time now, and thus eyebrows were raised when Philip Morris came back into the branding equation with their ‘Mission Winnow’ logo on Ferrari cars and driver kits late last year.
The Australian authorities shot down the branding early this year, when they raised concerns over the ‘Mission winnow’ branding being directly linked to cigarette advertising.
Now, Ferrari have been forced to do way with the branding for the Australian GP and have been forced to come out with a statement regarding the same.
— Motorsport.com (@Motorsport) March 5, 2019
I just realized, what are the Australian authorities going to do about all the fans wearing new Ferrari Mission Winnow t-shirts and hats..😂 Yeah ferrari can’t use it on the cars and overalls but what about all the fans wearing them?
— Anthony Di Re (@anthonydire17) March 5, 2019
Ferrari CEO, Louis Camilleri has confirmed that Ferrari will be using a ‘surprise livery’ for the Australian GP, one that would of course be without the ‘Mission Winnow’ branding.
“They [the logos] will not be there at the first race, instead we will arrange a surprise for the fans.” Camilleri said.
“There were difficulties with their health department even though it has nothing to do with tobacco.
“It is not a brand, it is about the transition from cigarettes to electronic, but we and Philip Morris did not have the time to find another solution,” he added.
Speaking about the 2019 Ferrari car, Camilleri said that he was pretty satisfied with how things have turned out until now, with Ferrari being the fastest in Barcelona testing.
On Tuesday, Mission Winnow was removed from Ferrari's official name for the Australian Grand Prix on March 17 after local authorities launched an investigation into whether the team breached laws over tobacco advertising. https://t.co/241glFp9WO
— News18 Sports (@News18Sports) March 6, 2019
— F1i (@F1icom) March 6, 2019
Reliability has seemed to be a concern for Ferrari, and the team is now working towards improving it, so that the pace that they have doesn’t go to waste.
“The car was fast from the very beginning. It has an excellent balance and the drivers are happy, even if it is difficult to understand where the others are,” he said.
“We have the most ambitious goals of course, but we need to continue to work on improving reliability,” he concluded