This hasn’t stopped companies like Phillip Morris International (PMI), owner of the famed Marlboro cigarette brand, to continue throwing money at the Scuderia Ferrari even in this day and age, following a partnership that has lasted for almost half a century.
Through its Mission Winnow sub-brand, which is a mysterious subsidiary of PMI that sponsors both the Scuderia Ferrari and Ducati Corse, the tobacco giant has been featured on every single-seater spawned from Maranello since 2018, including the recently unveiled SF1000.
So it happens that an Italian consumer rights advocacy group called Codacons has now threatened with legal action against Ferrari, claiming that it is unlawfully promoting tobacco products.
Not only that, but the non-profit organization demands the seizure of the SF1000 Formula 1 car and every Ferrari product promoting the Mission Winnow logo, including Sebastian Vettel’s and Charles Leclerc’s racing overalls.
Apparently, the consumer rights group also has the backing of Italy’s Ministry of Health in this endeavor and has asked the Italian police branch in charge of public health matters to impound the red single-seater.
“Strengthened by the decision of the Ministry, we will start a legal battle against Ferrari, presenting a new complaint to the Antitrust and Ministry of Health, and we will ask the NAS to seize the new SF1000 single-seater presented in Reggio Emilia,” said Carlo Rienzi, president of Codacons, as quoted by RaceFans.
NAS is short for Nuceli Antisofisticazione e Sanita, the aforementioned police branch that can officially seize the Ferrari products branded with Mission Winnow logos.
It will be interesting to see if the impending legal procedures take a toll on Ferrari’s 2020 pre-season F1 testing, which is set to kick off on February 19 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain