Mercedes have denied a story travelling around social media from last weekend in Suzuka, that a carelessly placed QR code saw a number of cans of Red Bull delivered to key members of the team.
During the weekend, Lewis Hamilton conducted an interview for the F1 world feed from Mercedes' hospitality suite. What (briefly) went unnoticed was a QR code prominently displayed in the background behind the seven-time world champion.
Intrigued viewers decided to scan the QR code, which led them to a surprising discovery: the code could be used to place drink orders for Mercedes personnel, including Hamilton, George Russell, and team principal Toto Wolff.
While the popular story claimed that cans of the energy drink were being mass-ordered for the Mercedes trio, the truth appears less entertaining – with the team denying that any orders for their competitor's product could have been made at all by anyone who wasn't physically on site.
A team spokesperson told American site Jalopnik: "Whilst the QR code was visible during that interview, it was not functional for those not on-site (therefore people watching at home). Therefore, there was no overwhelmed hospitality team and the quotes are not from a Mercedes team source."
Red Bull, of course, did have the last laugh in Japan anyway, sealing the constructors' title thanks to Max Verstappen's runaway victory.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.