Ferrari’s latest Formula 1 challenger has come under threat of seizure by Italian authorities, with consumer group Codacons protesting the car’s ‘Mission Winnow’ branding.

An initiative of the Scuderia’s long-time sponsors Phillip Morris to “drive change by constantly searching for better ways of doing things”, Codacons alleges Mission Winnow is merely an attempt by the company to subvert bans on the advertising of its tobacco products.

First appearing on a Ferrari F1 car at the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix, the Scuderia was forced to remove the branding at multiple races in 2019 in order to comply with local tobacco-advertising regulations. This year, the team could struggle to even get their car out of the factory, should Codacons get their wish.

According to a letter written a few weeks ago from the Italian Ministry of Health to the National Consumers’ Union, “the Mission Winnow brand, used on the occasion of Formula 1 sporting events, allows, through the links present on its website, a promotion, even if indirect, of an important company producing cigarettes and new tobacco products.”

With this opinion in hand, Codacons president Carlo Rienzi believes his case is strong enough for legal action.

“Now, strengthened by the decision of the Ministry, which gives us full support, we will start a legal battle against Ferrari, presenting a new complaint to the Antitrust and Ministry of Health, and we will ask them to seize the new single-seater “SF1000″ presented yesterday in Reggio Emilia,” he said.

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