Infiniti to become Red Bull title sponsor

2012 F1 season

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Renault’s luxury brand Infiniti will become the title sponsor of Red Bull next year as the two deepen their technical co-operation.

Infiniti, whose branding has appeared on Red Bull’s cars for the past two seasons, will assist Red Bull with their development of energy recovery systems under the new 2014 technical rules.

Team principal Christian Horner said: “Red Bull Racing and Infiniti have been working on a number of initiatives since the start of our relationship in 2011.

“During that time, Infiniti has demonstrated significant technical prowess and I’ve been impressed by the depth of the wider engineering capabilities of the Nissan Motor Company.

“In terms of marketing, Infiniti has leveraged their involvement with Red Bull Racing and Formula One extremely effectively to become much better known in a short space of time.”

Infiniti president Johan de Nysschen added: “While our first 24-months have been very beneficial to both parties, our new increased relationship will bring increased advantages to Infiniti and Red Bull Racing. As title sponsor, Infiniti Red Bull Racing will help us garner even more worldwide exposure for our brand, products and technology.”

2012 F1 season

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Image © Red Bull/Getty images

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Infiniti to become Red Bull title sponsor”

  1. Purple iRBR next year?

  2. Mateschitz getting bored?

  3. That’s very clever from Renault. They basically swapped from a struggling team to the winning team and I’m sure if RedBull decide in the future that they want to reduce their involvement Renault will be more than happy to step up to the plate and buy the team. At least we know the Milton Keynes team is in good hands.

  4. Like they need a title sponsor! Should be interesting though and it’s good to see a non-manufacturer working so closely with the commercial industry.

    I’d never heard of Infiniti until RBR’s involvement so obviously it has been very beneficial for them.

    What’s the deal with Renault and Nissan then, do Renault own them? Sounds to me that Renault got bored with Enstone and wanted to have a peek into Milton Keynes…

    1. Renault own shares in Nissan and vice versa. They’ve been working together for quite some time, now.

      Renault, of course, also own a major share in AvtoVAZ, Lada’s mother company.

    2. Infiniti , Nissans lux brand for the USA and Europe is able to penetrate the US market but Renault has a history in the US similar to British Leylands. It makes sense therefore to use the infiniti brand now that F1 is moving into the US conciousness, don’t be surprised to see some Renault hot hatch being marketed in the US through Infiniti showrooms, possibly re-badged as Infiniti.

  5. I know Renault and Nissan have a technical tie up and share road car platforms, but is it correct to say Infiniti is Renault’s luxury brand? I thought they were Nissan’s.

    1. Infiniti is like what Lexus is to Toyota, sort of. So yes!

      1. I thought so. Thanks!

    2. Renault owns 44% of Nissan and Nissan own Infiniti .

  6. I wonder why there’s no talk of Red Bull’s Renault engines being rebadged as Inifiniti. Would make extra sense, I guess, for now ‘Infiniti Red Bull Racing’ will run ‘Red Bull-Renault’ cars.

    1. @lustigson I think the new name will be Red Bull Racing Infiniti.
      Other teams: Sky is the limit!!!!!
      Red Bull: To Infiniti…and beyond!!!!(Oh, and we give you wings too!!!)

    2. At least it’s not Toro Rosso-Infiniti, that would be the most-misspelled team ever. I just had 3 attempts at typing it now.

      Remains to be seen whether they want to pay the teams more and get the brand names up on the constructors’ championship tables (like the old deals with Sauber-Petronas, Prost-Acer etc). Maybe they want the Renault name represented as well as Infiniti, or Renault identified as the F1 engine builder.

      But it does seem to be moving towards each Renault brand being associated with an F1 team – Infiniti and Red Bull, Alpine with Caterham. Williams-Renault stands for something – they’d be daft not to build another Clio Williams. Nissan is promoted more in sportscars.
      Lotus F1 Team is a tricky one – Lotus cars will be a competitor with Alpine. Same applies to Marussia if Cosworth stopped and they ended up with Renault power.

    3. @lustigson

      “Renault insists Red Bull’s engines won’t get Infiniti badging”

  7. I always thought Red Bull was Red Bulls title sponsor…

    1. Red Bull doesn’t really qualify as a sponsor when they own the team outright.

    2. I suppose RBR is like Benetton. They started off as sponsors, took over established teams and essentially sponsored themselves, gradually giving away space on the car until they finally signed a title sponsorship deal.

      1. They are a bit like Benetton, many similarities – German drivers champion (rumours he may be off to Ferrari at some point in the future), back to back constructors titles, and races under the company brand name.

        The success of the last 3/4 years has allowed them to gain valuable sponsors over that time, which will have helped with the burden of running a title contending F1 team – not that RedBull struggles to do this, but it frees up money for them to invest in other ventures – like their Felix Baumgartner ‘space programme’ which put NASA’s recent cut backs to shame! :P

        1. And when were Benetton’s back to back constructor’s titles?

          1. @loetkoe

            Did they only get the one? I just assumed they did the double at the same time as Schumacher.

        2. 1995 only, with MSC and Herbert.

  8. It makes sense for RedBull to get into a partnership with a manufacturer, it worked with Mclaren being Mercedes’ ‘factory’ team for years, and Williams and Sauber both had some good years when they partnered up with BMW in the 2000s.

  9. I am very happy of all of those involved, and all.
    But to be honest, that PR lingo make my teeth hurt…
    I am positively sure that for a decent small fee Keith would be able to write something much better and interesting than those PR releases, with those robotic “quotes”. It’s shocking.

    1. There isn’t much scope to make stories like this more interesting than they are. I generally don’t give a lot of space to straight ‘sponsor’ stories, but a title sponsorship is a big deal, and the deeper technical collaboration makes it interesting too. Particularly as Red Bull’s core strength is on the aerodynamic side – this shows they’re preparing for a major technical change in two years’ time.

      1. Don’t get me wrong, Keith, my comment is NOT about your story, but about the PR standard language. It is horrible, dry and boring. I think you regularly do a great job transforming those boring press releases into interesting stories. It is just that I can’t stand that standard corporate BS, with all the “quotes” and stuff (and the details of each company at the stock exchange at the bottom of the page…)
        This story of Infinity is a good example: it is indeed a very good story, and you managed to spot it underneath all that corporate/sponsor BS. I remember when I was covering the motogp championship, when it was still 500cc and 250cc, and regularly used to receive literally KILOS of paper with all the corporate BS, and think “Why do this people write like this? They have good stories in their hands, why do they need to distribute this rubbish?” So, Keith, I know how you feel and I understand the brilliance of what you are doing.

        1. Oh I agree with you absolutely about the PR language. But that’s the world we live in :-(

  10. So hopefully no more KERS failures?! I’m sure Webber would appreciate that!

    1. Infinite scope for improvement …

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