We really didn’t see the point of having it in the first place, but ever since Ferrari decided to put some subliminal messaging on the bar code of the Ferrari F10’s engine covers, the team has been under fire. What was the message? Oh, just a little subliminal reference to the tobacco brand, Marlboro. At least as far as the critics were concerned.

For the longest time, Ferrari’s F1 team has been a sponsor of Marlboro, but ever since F1 decided to ban tobacco sponsorships on any of the participating teams, the all-too-familiar Marlboro logo was removed from every Ferrari sponsorship platform, including the car and the driver’s overalls.

So, to avoid any more controversy, Ferrari decided to just get rid of the bar code and the cars driven by both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in Barcelona was completely devoid of it, leaving only a simple rectangle box to replace it.

While Ferrari denied any type of guerilla marketing with the bar code design, a lot of people - including us - really didn’t see the point of having one there in the first place. And when the talk surrounding the double meaning of the bar code gained more steam, Ferrari just opted to do the prudent thing and take them out completely.

That was probably a good idea, Ferrari, because if it was meant to be some sort of subliminal message, it probably wouldn’t have worked anyway.

Press Release after the jump

Change of livery

Montmelò, 6th May - Together with Philip Morris International we have decided to modify the livery of our cars starting with the Barcelona Grand Prix.

This decision was taken in order to remove all speculation concerning the so-called "bar code" which was never intended to be a reference to a tobacco brand.

By this we want to put an end to this ridiculous story and concentrate on more important things than on such groundless allegations.

Source: Ferrari

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Show Comments


  (808) posted on 05.16.2010

Yeah, it looks awful without the marlboro signature on the rear wings.

  (666) posted on 05.13.2010

Oh with the removal of Marlboro’s famous logo, the new rear wing looks .

  (428) posted on 05.12.2010

Uh oh!!! Now it’s a red square. No good! What are the kids going to immediately go smoke now after seeing the red square on this car? Pall Malls? (sarcasm)

  (544) posted on 05.11.2010

Why did they banned a long time sponsor? That wasn’t fair for the Marlboro right?

  (462) posted on 05.10.2010

Huh, How is that? Isn’t that too rude? Why do they need to remove it? It’s just only a logo of sponsors right?

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