Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Ferrari’s Mission Winnow branding could return following 2020 absence

2021 F1 season

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Ferrari’s controversial Mission Winnow branding, which did not appear on its cars at any race during 2020, may return this year.

The initiative backed by Philip Morris International – Ferrari’s largest sponsor, whose Marlboro brand previously appeared on the cars – was revealed late in 2018. It was described at the time as a project “to create engagement around the role of science, technology and innovation as a powerful force for good in any industry”, rather than promote any specific product.

However some accused Ferrari and PMI of using Mission Winnow to circumvent restrictions on tobacco advertising. The branding appeared only sporadically throughout 2019 and wasn’t seen at any of last year’s 17 races. Mission Winnow logos appeared on Ferrari’s cars outside of races at the launch of the SF-1000 and during pre-season testing.

A PMI spokesperson told RaceFans the branding may return at races during the 2021 F1 season.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020
Ferrari raced without its Mission Winnow logos last year
“Decisions about our approach to single events or races are based on a number of factors, including but not limited to regulations in place in the country and the environment in which the race takes place,” said PMI’s vice-president for internal communications Tommaso di Giovanni. “We will announce plans for the next season and specific races in due course.”

Ferrari is not the only F1 team with current tobacco or nicotine company sponsorship. McLaren also has its ‘A Better Tomorrow’ partnership with British American Tobacco and have recently launched a celebrity-focussed Esports series promoting BAT’s VELO nicotine pouch.

Mission Winnow “is not meant to ‘promote’ any product or brand,” said di Giovanni. “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 changed; to share our pride in the transformation that the people of PMI have achieved and continue to work for.”

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “Ferrari’s Mission Winnow branding could return following 2020 absence”

  1. I consider myself to be very alive to changes in teams sponsor portfolios from race to race, but I honestly hadn’t noticed that Misson Winnow wasn’t on the Ferraris in 2020. I know that PMI is still involved with the team, but I honestly didn’t notice. I did notice McLaren’s revolving door of BAT affiliated logos however… so my spider senses obviously haven’t abandoned me just yet.

    Perhaps that shows just how little people care about this issue?

    1. I think it shows how little people care for the winoominow whatever stuff, but also how little we got to see the Ferraris this year I guess @geemac.

    2. @geemac I’d noticed, and assumed it was simply because F1 didn’t race anywhere that it was legal to display the logos in last year. Never occurred to me anyone would think the sponsorship had ended.

  2. I rather would see nothing from the tabaco direction it gives me cold shivers as i remember familymembers dying from that junk in my mind again.

    1. Just move on then. Alcohol killed one of my family, it doesn’t give me shivers but if it did id not click on the articles and spend

      1. ..time commenting on them

      2. Just move on then.

        What an insensitive comment to a bereaved person.

        1. Let go of your pearls its not the Samaritans, he doesn’t like something as it makes him upset but he clicks on stuff that does. DUh

          1. Even so, that doesn’t make your comment any less insensitive.
            I certainly won’t stop holding up the mirror to people like you.

  3. I didn’t even notice their logo wasn’t on the cars last season. Well, considering Ferrari were creeping at the back of the mdifield for most part of the season, it doesn’t surprise me.

    What still amazes me, is how F1 is able to ban tobacco advertising on the one hand and have one of the biggest alcohol companies (a product which causes millions of deaths, due to drunk driving accidents, every year) as their MAJOR sponsor on the other hand. I find this very hypocritical.

    1. It’s the same here in Australia in our touring car series. Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Bundaberg Rum et al have all been major sponsors of teams in the recent past, and diecast models made with the signage on them. But brands like Marlboro and Winfield, which sponsored some very significant teams in the 70s/80s/90s, are removed from the models and some new/historic footage. It’s crazy. Tobacco sponsorship in general is censored heavily here, whereas alcohol is the complete opposite. They’re just as bad as one another really.

      1. @hsvdt15 not to mention the big money Gambling companies put into sports either eh?

        I guess the mob lobbying for the tobacco folk didnt come up with the goods those from the booze and pokies could. :)

    2. @srga91 F1 wasn’t “able” to ban tobacco – it was more or less forced into it because the EU banned tobacco sponsorship in sports.

      Until that happens for alcohol/gambling/[insert sector here] advertising in sport, expect this to continue.

  4. Same as everyone above I just found out that MW was missing from the livery. I’ve always considered it one of the worst logos to put on a car (regardless what they stand for; what does “winnow” even mean). I hope they keep to their word and support an “initiative to encourage dialogue around positive change” and remove that logo.

    1. @jjlehto Winnow, verb, “blow a current of air through (grain) in order to remove the chaff.”

      1. To be honest, I thought it was just Win Now!…kind of an instruction to Ferrari to get off their collective arses and go on a Mission to WinNow…I was completely wrong…shame on me!

        1. pretty sure that was the subtext. Ferrari were the ones who got it wrong.

    2. I personally notice it from Day 1, even though I don’t touch tobacco products mg entire life.

    3. It stands for nothing that’s who is so ridiculous. That name was only chosen so the logo could subliminally remind you of M*rlboro, in combination with red and white. Similar as what they did with the barcode logo.

  5. Do most people feel a bit #MissionWhoCares?

    What do they even do or sell? Nothing meaningful.

    1. I think that’s the point. Mission Winnow has no purpose other than to include branding that bares more than a striking resemblance to the Marlboro branding, which has been banned. It was a not so subtle attempt to get around the tobacco advertising laws that failed because most countries who have bans in place recognized it for what it is. Now it is just meaningless drivel pasted to the side of the car.

  6. #Mission Winnow will replace 2020’s #Mission Winlater …

    Or #Mission Winnow is coming back so Carlos gets the message…

    #Mission Winnow is back after spending some time at Renault quarters near Abiteboul’s desk. #Winnow or…

    Vettel was presented with a copy by Stroll Sr. “Your Mission is to Winnow” (in case Stroll jr is out).

    Just to lighten the mood…

    We’re here every Thursdays at 7PM folks!
    ;-)

  7. Ferrari just love to merchandise.
    Selling different t-shirt to yesteryear is the purpose, that and having cash from Marlboro.
    Selling cars seems a side activity.

    1. Selling cars is a side activity for Ferrari

  8. I only noticed it in the sense that the drivers’ overalls and caps seemed rather bare this year. But otherwise it didn’t register. There have been bigger fish to fry for the press.

  9. Hope this isn’t true. Their logos ruin the look of the car. Much better without them on it!

    1. I personally think it fits well.

  10. Looks and sounds like organized crime do philantropic investments as a no profit onlus org. to clean dirty revenues.

  11. Glad to see the brand return.

  12. Phillip Morris are spending big money trying to convince everyone that when they promise that vaping is safe (its not), this time they’re not lying (they are).

    They’re doing this in the guise of pro science, even though the science says its also deadly.

    Bad form by anyone to accept this blood money.

  13. Why does Philip Morris and Ferrari choose to display more flouted MW/Logos all over the car?

    Over twenty decals on each Ferrari car when used for advertising. The angles with oversight everywhere on advertising marketing with the especially “M” prominent in everybody’s face around the world. Is it a mistake when they could choose a different letter? Probably, not.

    How many other F1 teams use over twenty decals for their own individual sponsors on their cars? They do not. Not even close to twenty for any sponsor. Look at the photos of the cars and see the difference.

    Philip Morris is all over the car. Not an oil, fuel, soft drink, or a package carrier. But, Philip Morris does sell smokes.

  14. It’s all in how the two words come together on the car to recreate the Marlboro chevrons. Subliminal advertising.

  15. Ok, so Win Now, it’s about time!

  16. I don’t want them to return, to be honest.

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