Red Bull Racing deal with Infiniti explained

Artist impression Red Bull Racing RB7 Infiniti

Artist impression Red Bull Racing RB7 Infiniti

Mar.1 (PVM) The Red Bull-Infiniti deal announced late yeaterday (Monday) in Geneva was expected, however media reports speculating that the world champions would be running Infiniti branded Renault engines were wide off the mark.

Artist impression of Sebastian Vettel with Infiniti branding on his helmet

Red Bull will continue to be powered by Renault engines, while the Infiniti deal is a marketing exercise as explained on the F1 team’s website: “As part of the agreement, Infiniti will have high-profile branding on the car, drivers’ clothing and team kit and equipment. Infiniti will also work with Renault to forge future technical collaboration with us. The team will continue to use Renault F1 engines in 2011 and 2012.”

Team principal Christian Horner said: “Red Bull has always taken a different approach, so when the Infiniti executives outlined their innovative plan to us we were very open to working with them. Coming off the back of our 2010 Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships, we feel even more excited to be starting the 2011 season with a new and committed partner like Infiniti.”

Andy Palmer, senior-vice president at Infiniti, said: “Over the mid-term, Infiniti will be simultaneously expanding its global presence and broadening its product range. Given these twin ambitions, it is clear Formula One offers us an unrivalled global communications platform, complementing Infiniti’s ethos of Inspired Performance. We are excited to have the opportunity to enter Formula One together with a world-class team like Red Bull Racing Renault.”

Bernard Rey, President of Renault Sport F1, added: “While Renault is rightfully very proud of our achievements within Formula One, we know the future is about collaboration. To have a talented and committed Alliance partner like Infiniti is very welcome as we set out on the current and future challenges in Formula One. So it is with great pleasure that I would like to welcome Andy Palmer and his entire team in our Formula One adventure, and I look forward to starting the 2011 season together as Alliance partners.”

Perhaps the most significant factor is the return of a major Japanese corporation to Formula 1 after an exodus which saw Honda, Toyota and Bridgestone abandon the sport in recent years.