Red Bull F1 goes to Infiniti
NEW RED BULL PARTNER: Nissan subsidiary Infiniti has come fully on board with Red Bull for four years as a major partner.
LONDON, England - Sunday's launch of Infiniti Red Bull Racing's 2013 Formula 1 car, the RB9, not only marked the unveiling of the car with which the team will defend its Drivers' and Constructors' titles but it also ushered in a new era for the team.
The car has a striking new livery that reflects the strengthened relationship between Red Bull Racing and premium automotive brand Infiniti.
Triple F1 champion Sebastian Vettel and nine-times GP winner Mark Webber were at the team's UK base to give the world's media its first glimpse of the new car and livery, which integrates Infiniti's purple-hued branding with the team's existing racing colours.
The unveiling was an opportunity for Infiniti to reveal that not only has it agreed a four-year deal to become the team's title partner, as announced in November 2012, but also that it will become the exclusive vehicle performance partner of the team.
Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti Motor Company, part of the Nissan conglomerate, said: "Our new, increased partnership as Infiniti Red Bull Racing is a key milestone for Infiniti and a clear indication of our commitment to building the brand globally," he said.
"While the first 24 months delivered outstanding results for both parties, our deeper involvement, which now sees us truly integrated as one team, will bring significant benefits to our people, processes and technology. We go into the 2013 season and beyond with a shared objective to deliver world-leading performance on the track and the road."
Infiniti already has engineering personnel working at the team's UK HQ, highlighting the deepening technical synergy between the team and the automaker. The brand aims to integrate further team members into the vehicle performance department.
Infiniti believes that rotating technical staff through the F1 environment will bring benefits in development processes and performance expertise. An early indicator of the value of the technical collaboration between the organisations was last year's development of the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition from concept to production in just six months.
More recently, Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Buemi had a hands-on role test-driving and developing the new Infiniti Q50.
Commenting on the strengthened relationship, Infiniti Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner said: "Our stronger link with Infiniti from 2013 is part of the natural evolution of our team and demonstrates its growth. We are still a young racing outfit and this title partnership is a very welcome aspect of our development.
"I firmly believe it will prove to be of enormous benefit on both sides over the coming years."