“The Green Arrow Represents…” – Ferrari F1 Sponsor Mission Winnow Justify Despised Logo

Published 03/15/2021, 4:06 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Ferrari made a bit of a splash during launch season, but for all the wrong reasons. The Italian ruffled a few feathers as they added a touch of green to the car. That dash of green was the logo of Ferrari’s title sponsor Mission Winnow (MW). MW have explained their rationale for switching from black/white to green. 

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Mission Winnow is an initiative which has been championed by leading tobacco producer Philip Morris International(PMI). This mysterious company has come under a lot of criticism. Many observers suspect it’s a way for PMI to circumvent the strict anti-tobacco advertising regulations in F1. 

The reasoning behind the green MW logo on the Ferrari

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In an interview, PMI spokesperson Tommaso Di Giovanni spoke about how the debate regarding this was part of the reasoning behind this change. He said, “From the start, Mission Winnow has always experimented with its visual identity.

“Much like a green screen does for film. The green arrow represents possibility and opens the opportunity to imagine new horizons.”

AUTODROMO NAZIONALE, MONZA, ITALY – 2019/09/08: Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

He said that the company wanted to spark debate and discussion. He felt this would help with the preconceived image of the company. The Italian said, “Regardless of opinions about the colour, sparking debate and creating dialogue. This is exactly what Mission Winnow is meant to do.

“We have consistently encouraged people to place their preconceptions about our company aside. We want them to open their mind to the transformation we are going through.”

Can F1 do more to prevent tobacco advertising on F1 cars? 

Tobacco company advertising in F1 was very prevalent during the 90s and 2000s. Many of the iconic cars of that period featured the erstwhile tobacco brands of the time. 

The late 2000s saw a crackdown on this sort of advertising by F1. This came as many studies showed the impact of tobacco on health problems. F1, wanting to preserve its image, sought to remove blatant advertising of tobacco from cars.

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16 LECLERC Charles (mco), Scuderia Ferrari SF1000, action during the Formula 1 Winter Tests at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

But this has led to tobacco companies thinking up innovative ways of advertising. This has led to the Italian team being sponsored by Mission Winnow. However, many watchdog groups have caught them in the act and protested it.

Ferrari, by the way, are not the only team to have an association with a tobacco company. McLaren have their own association with British American Tobacco.

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If F1 is serious about their image, they should look to ban tobacco companies. While doing so, they should also ban their various brands from having any association with any team. If done properly, this can clean up the sport’s image considerably. 

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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