Why Did Ferrari Ditch Mission Winnow for Amazon on Their F1 Livery?

Published 06/18/2021, 8:19 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during qualifying REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


Mission Winnow returned to the grid this season as the title partner of Scuderia Ferrari after opting to stay out in 2020. What’s more, to create more awareness, the SF21 sported the attractive Green-colored ‘Mission Winnow’ branding on the engine cover and the rear wing.

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However, Philip Morris, leading the initiative, dramatically elected to stay away from featuring the brand on the cars over the race weekends in Europe.

Subsequently, the Maranello outfit announced Amazon Web Services as their technical and commercial partner, with their logo imprinted on the nose of the car. So, what is the reason behind MW’s rather erratic presence in F1? Will they ever return to the sport this season?

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The story behind the Ferrari-Mission Winnow Partnership

Philip Morris International are one of the biggest backers of Ferrari, as has been the case over the past few decades. Moreover, the Reds even had the Marlboro branding on their cars for several years. But, F1 halted their run by making certain changes to the advertising rules of tobacco.

This meant that none of the company’s brands had the freedom to feature on any of the F1 cars. Then arrived the controversial initiative led by the Swiss-American company. PMI kick-started Mission Winnow in a bid to build a tobacco-free future.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 18, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during practice REUTERS/Yves Herman

What’s more, the Branding of ‘MW’ started showing up on the Ferrari challengers in 2018. And the fans weren’t happy with it, as it looked more like Philip Morris were desperately trying to break their way into F1 amidst the tobacco-based rules in place.

Amidst the massive backlash, the logo only showed up on selected races in 2019 and entirely disappeared over the 2020 season. However, yet again, Ferrari announced the return of MW in 2021. Hence, with controversies swarming around the initiative, PMI decided to remove their branding from the SF21.

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The statement released by Philip Morris International ahead of the French GP

Philip Morris International announced that this decision was made to avoid any controversies surrounding the theory that the company scrutinized the government laws by advertising the brand on the F1 cars. Hence, other than the French Grand Prix, PMI will also stay away from the follow-up race weekend at Silverstone.

Riccardo Parino, VP Global Partnerships at PMI, released a statement mentioning the same. “The Mission Winnow logo will not be featured on the Scuderia Ferrari livery during races in the EU, starting with the French Grand Prix this weekend,” he said.

Mission Winnow respects all laws and regulations and continuously strives to find distinctive ways to drive dialogue, free of ideology, and build strong partnerships that are rooted in shared values.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 17, 2021 General view of the Ferrari F1 racing cars ahead of the French Grand Prix REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

We acknowledge the mistrust and abundance of skepticism towards our industry. However, our intention is not to create controversy around the application of the logo.

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“But rather focus on re-framing global conversations, building communities, and supporting innovative ideas that drive positive change.

As things stand, the Mission Winnow logo will show up on the Ferrari once F1 bids adieu to Europe. This is most likely around the time the sport arrives in Russia or later in Japan. However, amidst the rising uproar, will PMI ever find respite from this controversial topic? Only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

948 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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