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MAY 7, 2010

Ferrari removes 'barcode' livery

Ferrari has modified its car livery in Barcelona following last week's controversy over whether the 'barcode' livery on its engine cover and the driver's overalls may constitute subliminal tobacco advertising.

Despite Ferrari taking steps to rubbish claims from doctors, who urged both the British and Spanish governments to look into whether the team was flouting tobacco advertising laws, the team has removed the barcode-type striped livery from the cars of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in Spain.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said that the claims were 'nonsense' and added: "It is verging on the ridiculous to claim that the colour red or a graphic design which shows a bar code could induce people to smoke. At a time when, on the other side of the Atlantic they are fighting to provide a more equal health service, in the old continent of Europe so-called experts are racking their brains to come up with theories that have no scientific basis: I think there are more important matters to think about than a bar code."

Fernando Alonso acknowledged yesterday that the eyes of Spain were on him this week, with his success having transformed the country's interest in F1.

"I think it used to be that 70% of the spectators at the Spanish GP were foreign people, mostly Germans, but now it's very different and the country gets involved in this week, with the preparations and with previews and so there's very few people in Spain who don't know it is the Spanish Grand Prix."

A further statement from Ferrari said that together with Philip Morris (Marlboro) they have modified the livery "to put an end to this ridiculous story and concentrate on more important things than such groundless allegations."