Did you notice something different about the Ferraris at the Spanish GP? The Scuderia has removed the “bar code” design from Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa’s F10 race cars, after some noisy doctors claimed that the design is subliminal advertising from Marlboro (tobacco advertising in sports is not allowed in the EU). Philip Morris’ Marlboro is the only remaining tobacco brand in Formula 1 and is the title sponsor of the sport’s most famous team.

Ferrari denied the accusations and have grudgingly removed the offending design. The result is a white bordered empty box on the F10’s engine cover, which is rather ugly. Why didn’t they just remove the entire thing? Is it to prove a point? Your guess is as good as ours!

“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,” an official Ferrari statement read.