Racing manufacturers Ferrari and Ducati could remove Mission Winnow branding from their respective Formula One and MotoGP teams for the rest of the season, according to a report by Autosport.
The controversial Philip Morris campaign has drawn concerns from various health authorities around whether it directly contradicts International Automobile Federation (FIA) rules prohibiting the promotion of tobacco-based products in motorsport.
Philip Morris – a long-term partner of Ferrari – denies that the initiative is designed to promote its tobacco products and claims that Mission Winnow promotes research into developing ‘less harmful alternatives to cigarettes’.
So far this season Ferrari have removed Mission Winnow logos during Grands Prix in Australia and Canada, and decided to race without the branding again during this weekend’s French Grand Prix.
“As a matter of practice, we do not comment on rumours and speculation,” a Philip Morris spokesman told Autosport. “As announced at the start of the season, we may on a race-by-race basis provide opportunities to our partners to communicate messages in place of Mission Winnow.
"As was the case in Australia and Canada, Scuderia Ferrari will again celebrate their 90th anniversary on the livery and team uniforms at the Formula One GP in France this weekend. We will continue to share more information as appropriate ahead of each race."
Similarly, Formula One racing team McLaren has also dropped branding for a campaign called ‘A Better Tomorrow’, promoted by its British American Tobacco sponsor, ahead of the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.
In addition, Ducati recently decided against racing with Mission Winnow logos during the French round of the MotoGP World Championship at Le Mans.