One could be forgiven for thinking that now tobacco sponsorship has finally left Formula One, many cars would be adjusting their liveries to suit newly found sponsors, and move away from the previous branding. And most teams are doing just this. Renault are keeping tight-lipped about their 2007 livery, and recent photos of the team shaking their 2007 car down at Silverstone clearly show a move away from Mild Seven blue. Honda are another team that are expected to drastically change their colours. Again, keeping schtum about the whole thing, Honda could be going green, so the rumours say.
So on to Ferrari. The Scuderia moved away from their tradtional colour when Marlboro came on board in 1996, along with Michael Schumacher et al, and the red was brightened up a bit. Although Malrboro are only into the second year of a five year deal, it was hoped that Ferrari might return to their original fighting paint – Ferrari red. But, Marlboro are keeping part of their logo on the car. In order to circumnavigate the new rules, Marlboro will display the bar code on the engine cover – just as they did at races that had already banned cigarette advertising. And apparently, in a hope to add even more of a subliminal message, the red is moving even further away from Ferrari red and closer to Marlboro red. In other words, even brighter.
I was personally hoping the car would return to its traditional colours, but I guess Ferrari need the money, despite allegedly not paying Kimi Raikkonen as much as Michael Schumacher. Also sponsoring the team for 2007 will be Mubadala Abu Dhabi. an arab company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi. The company recently purchased a 5% stake on the Ferrari company for $138m, and will now appear on the team caps and on the car as well.
Ferrari are due to launch their 2007 challenger tomorrow.