Confusion has descended upon Ferrari’s sponsorship strategy in 2007 involving the tobacco giant Phillip Morris.
The Maranello based team is the last in pit lane still associated with a cigarette brand, after widespread tobacco advertising bans swept the world in recent years.
Ferrari’s new F2007 single seater was launched earlier this year without cigarette branding, and the team has also officially dropped the word ‘Marlboro’ from its title.
But the head of Ferrari’s Motor Sport Press Office, Luca Colajanni, refused to rule out the usage of tobacco signage at grands prix this year, after the team tested at Bahrain this week in Marlboro branded gear for the first time this winter.
“Ferrari will run the complete (Marlboro) livery where and when it is appropriate to do it, according to the local laws and to a number of various other reasons,” he said on Thursday.
Asked specifically whether tobacco logos would be displayed on the F2007 in Melbourne later this month, Colajanni answered: “We will do what it will be appropriate to do. You just need to check the local laws.”
With special dispensation granted by the Federal Health Minister in recent years, tobacco advertising was allowed at Albert Park for the grand prix until the chequered flag last year, when a total ban fell.
“Sporting events such as the Australian grand prix can no longer carry tobacco advertising,” the office for the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Health and Ageing said.