The controversy over the naming of the 2011 Ferrari F1 race cars appeared to come to an end over the weekend, but not without the fiery Italian sports car manufacturer taking one big final swing at its Detroit-based counterpart.
Last month, Ford Motor Co took legal action against Ferrari because it believed the name of Ferrari’s new race car – the F150 – was too similar to its own famous F-150 pick-up truck.
Ford claimed the Ferrari name was in breach of trademark and attempted to “capitalise on and profit from the substantial goodwill that Ford has developed in the F-150”.
As an act of “good faith”, Ferrari agreed to change the name to ‘Ferrari F150th Italia’, but over the weekend again tweaked the name and accompanied it with some choice, acidic words.
The new name is ‘Ferrari 150° Italia’ (the ‘°’ symbol is the Italian designation for the English ‘th’).
As for the explanation, it’s best left to Ferrari to get it off its chest:
“It might seem like a Kafkaesque scenario, but the affair relating to the name of the car with which Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will tackle this year’s Formula One World Championship saw its final and decisive episode played out these past few days with the concomitant withdrawal by Ford of the summons. Therefore common sense has prevailed.
“In order to avoid the slightest risk of anyone confusing a Formula 1 car with a pick-up truck, for their part, the men from Maranello have decided that the car will lose the F that precedes the number 150 and which stands for Ferrari, as it has done on numerous occasions when it’s come to giving a car a code name, be it for the race track or the road. It appears that this could have caused so much confusion in the minds of the consumer across the Pond that, at the same time as losing the F, the name will be completely Italianised, replacing the English ‘th’ with the equivalent Italian symbol.
“Therefore the name will now read as the Ferrari 150° Italia, which should make it clear even to the thickest of people that the name of the car is a tribute to the anniversary of the unification of our country. Let’s hope the matter is now definitely closed and that we can concentrate on other matters, namely ensuring that our car that already seems to be pretty good out of the box, becomes a real winner.”