LONDON (Reuters) - Ferrari changed the name of their 2011 Formula One racing car for the second time Friday to ensure nobody confuses it with a popular Ford pickup truck.
The team's website (www.ferrari.com) said the name had been modified further after Ford dropped a lawsuit against the Italian company in the United States over the original F150 designation.
The car was called the F150 to mark the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, but this was then changed to ‘F150th Italia’ after Ford accused Ferrari of infringing its trademark for the F-150 truck.
“In order to avoid the slightest risk of anyone confusing a Formula One car with a pick-up truck... the men from Maranello have decided that the car will lose the F that precedes the number 150 and which stands for Ferrari,” the team said in a website ‘Horse Whisperer’ column Friday.
“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 Italianized, 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.”
The website said it hoped the matter was now closed definitely “and that we can concentrate on more serious matters, namely ensuring that our car that already seems to be pretty good out of the box, becomes a real winner.”
The season starts in Australia on March 27 with Ferrari, whose drivers and Brazilian Felipe Massa and Spaniard Fernando Alonso, looking quick and reliable in the three tests so far this year in Spain.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Ken Ferris