Ferrari has enjoyed a relationship with tobacco giant Philip Morris dating back to the 1980s, with PMI brand Marlboro serving as the team’s title sponsor from 1997 until early 2008.
A clampdown on tobacco advertising meant Marlboro branding had to be dropped from the car, but PMI revised its title sponsorship of the team through its Mission Winnow initiative that was launched in 2018 with a view to a non-tobacco future.
Mission Winnow was dropped from both Ferrari’s official entry name and the car’s sponsorship ahead of the 2022 season, as well as disappearing from the team’s sponsor deck earlier this year when the agreement expired.
But it was revealed ahead of the Australian Grand Prix earlier this month that Mission Winnow had returned as an official Ferrari team partner.
Speaking to Autosport about the new agreement with PMI, Ferrari F1 boss Binotto felt it was important to maintain the long-running relationship, even if the nature of the agreement had changed.
“It’s important to know that it has been a long partnership with Philip Morris, and we are very proud of it, and very happy that it’s still lasting,” Binotto said.
“That was the intention of the two parties, because after so many years, it was important to stay together.
“Yes, it has changed a bit in the way the partnership is set up, without going into too many details.
“But in the end, it’s more important to make sure that it was continued.”
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, in the pitlane
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
As title partner, Mission Winnow’s green logo ran on the engine cover of Ferrari’s cars at select events last year, but was removed for all races in the European Union.
Ahead of the 2022 campaign, Ferrari announced that Spanish bank Santander had returned as a premium partner, along with Shell, blockchain network Velas, and technology brand Snapdragon.
Next weekend’s Miami Grand Prix is expected to be a key commercial race for all F1 teams, building on the series’ current boom in the United States.
“There is a lot of interest in Miami, I think for us as well, the American market as Ferrari is an important one,” Binotto said.
“But we can see also for our sponsors, really the business overall of F1 is doing well right now. We are all very happy. I think it will be an enjoyable weekend and event.”