No plans for F1 to ban tobacco companies

15/03/2019
NEWS STORY

While tobacco advertising in F1 has been banned for over a decade, Phillip Morris, manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes has continued its long partnership with Ferrari.

Indeed, other than cleverly - or should that read blatantly - trying to incorporate its logo into the Maranello car's livery over the years, all space on the Ferraris belongs to Phillip Morris which then 'sub lets' it to various other team partners and sponsors.

However, after more than a year of speculation, late last season the Ferrari's began running Mission Winnow signage, which actually refers to Phillip Morris' "potentially reduced risk products" such as vaping.

This year, while the Mission Winnow signage became much more prominent on the Ferrari, McLaren entered into a partnership with British American Tobacco, to promote its Better Tomorrow campaign, which also refers to a "potentially reduced risk product".

Amidst claims that the Australian government was to investigate the issue, both teams dropped their controversial signage for the season opener, while making it clear that it would return, albeit for races held in countries where the advertising rules are a little more lax.

Amidst growing concern that the Ferrari and McLaren deals might open the floodgates and allow tobacco back into the sport, speaking in Melbourne today, FIA president, Jean Todt said there were no immediate plans to ban tobacco companies.

"For many years tobacco advertising is forbidden," he told reporters. "So we completely support the WHO position," he added, referring to a statement issued by the World Health Authority (WHO) on Thursday calling on sporting bodies to adopt polices preventing participants from receiving any sponsorship through tobacco companies.

"There is little more we can say," he insisted. "We are allied very closely with the WHO and well aligned with their position."

However, with this suggesting that the sport will be taking no action in terms of the Mission Winnow and BAT deals, F1 boss Chase Carey appeared to support the feeling that there is no need to act.

"We have rules," said the American. "We work with the teams and the sponsors to respect the rules that exist."

Check out our Friday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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Published: 15/03/2019
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