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Ferrari removes bar code design following subliminal advertising row

Ferrari began Friday practice for the Spanish Grand Prix without a controversial bar code design on its chassis, following suggestions it was subliminal advertising for Marlboro cigarettes.

The Formula One team said the decision was taken "to remove all speculation" that the large bar code on its paintwork was associated with its princial sponsor. However Ferrari said the idea of the design being advertising for Marlboro was "ridiculous."

Cigarette sponsorship in F1 was once common but has all but disappeared due to advertising bans in most countries where races are held. Ferrari are the only team that is still sponsored by a tobacco company. It's official name Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro.