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Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Nov 2012   |  2:39 pm GMT  |  16 comments

A week after celebrating its third consecutive Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing has today announced that its partner Infiniti is to become the title sponsor in 2013.

With the global economy still not recovered from the financial crisis of the late 2000s, there are only four title sponsors currently among the 12 teams on the grid. This is quite a change from ten years ago.

This latest move is significant as it means that less of the total budget, one of the highest in F1, is paid by the parent drinks company. It also shows that other brands can benefit from association with the team, even though the Red Bull brand appears so dominant.

The relationship with Nissan’s premium car brand is also interesting as it provides Red Bull not only with cash, but also with technical resources.

One of Red Bull’s objections to the cost restriction plans the other teams want to bring into force is that they think it is impossible for the FIA to police what value of resources teams like Mercedes get from the main car company.

Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey welcomed the opportunity to work more closely with Infiniti, particularly with the new generation 2014 hybrid engined cars in prospect,

“Having a committed technical partner like Infiniti gives us a great platform for working together on technical projects, such as the Energy Recovery Systems for the 2014 season,’” he said.

Team boss Christian Horner added: “Red Bull Racing and Infiniti have been working on a number of initiatives since the start of our relationship in March 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 very effectively and has become well known in a short space of time. These two attributes are what makes Infiniti the ideal title and technical partner for Red Bull Racing.”

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16 Comments
  1. Adam says:

    Redbull have achieved what they started out to do and this is part of the process of withdrawing to move towards other areas of sport or physical challenges (parachuting from the edge of space as a recent example)and the return of the manufacturers to F1 as partners. Next it will be Honda as a partner with McLaren. What more can Redbull do? They don’t build road cars like McLaren and Ferrari, they have never quite got the build the new driver talent thing right to replace Vettle via Toro Roso. More of the same is not the RBR style, neither is loosing and that is now a distinct possibility in future seasons (look how close it was this year), so they will move on soon! Webber will retire, Vettle to Ferrari and that will hasten RBR out the door by transferring more of the team to Infiniti. Renault gets back to racing without the sordid past of the old team and under the Infiniti banner.

    1. gudien says:

      Good point. One gets the feeling Herr Mateschitz may not be in the sport of F-1 long term. He does not, to my knowledge have an auto racing backround such as a Frank Williams, Ron Dennis, Enzo Ferrari, or the Mercedes company.

      Following 3 World Drivers Championships what is left for ‘the brand’?

  2. Rich C says:

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

    [mod]
    Its already a wide-spread brand, just not one usually associated with racing. This is like saying Toyota became well-known because of F1.

    If Nissan wants the brand to become more well-known the dummies have to stop calling it a “Renault” engine, for starters!

    1. Simon Lord says:

      Must admit we were well into this season before I became aware that Infiniti wasn’t another ‘energy drink’ from the Red Bull stable. I’d never heard of it as a car brand, don’t think it’s sold in our part of the world.

      1. Rob Newman says:

        Good Lord, where do you live?

      2. Simon Lord says:

        New Zealand, thank goodness. Have just checked – Infiniti is not sold here but apparently they are talking about launching the brand in NZ in 2014. No doubt they’ll put pressure on the car dealers to take a quota in an already moribund new car market in order to leverage the global marketing, including F1.

    2. Bob says:

      Think you will fid it IS a Renault engine, and Red Bull are their works team.

      And I’m not calling you a dummy.

  3. Astroboy says:

    I’ve heard Nissan’s other premium brand ‘Datsun’ is due to make a comeback.

    World Constructor’s Champion 2014:
    Datsun Red Bull Racing Renault!

    1. Better4worse says:

      Phewww ! What a race…

      Fitting finale to a mindblowing season of wheel 2 wheel F1 racing ! It just couldn’t have been better. Loved every minute of it, in the end it was relief for Vettel, sadness for Alonso, exasperation for Hamilton, nostalgia for Massa…total chaos and nail biting madness for us viewers, just too much emotion out there in one single race. What a brilliant F1 2012 season !

  4. Interesting move by Red Bull. Clearly they think that they can get enough value from the brand going forward without being the title sponsor.

    Infiniti tie up makes sense given their global expansion plans.

  5. JB says:

    Red Bull has proven themselves that they can do so well for such a young team. Ferrari and Mclaren must now recognize RB and treat them with the fullest respect.

    I’m really excited to see this.

  6. Nulla says:

    This news comes after Red Bull has signed on as the title sponsor for the championship winning Triple 8 (Holden) V8 Supercar team for next year and quiting Nascar. What is suprising is that they decided not to back the new Nissan Motorsport backed Kelly Racing Team in the V8 Supercars even though they are a personal sponsor for team owner/driver Rick Kelly. Just goes to show that Red Bull and Infiniti is still just a one off venture.

  7. Luke DLP says:

    Astroboy – YES COME ON DATTO!
    The new RB9(120Y) has to have a chance in 2013!

    As James pointed out however this is clearly a move to maximise the potential of a closer relationship with a car company. I think it’s a good, proactive move to establish closer ties in particular for 2014 when the engine regs change and the playing field could be much more level (I doubt that but who knows). And I wouldn’t be vaguely surprised if RB created their own car in the future – aren’t Williams doing the same thing with Jaguar at the moment?! I think it also shows an interest in continuing in the sport beyond the next few years. There could be tough times ahead for RBR; potentially losing two drivers to Ferrari in two years (I can dream). Infiniti on the other hand are still an establishing brand outside of the US – they launched in Australia during the Australian GP this year but as of yet still don’t have a single working showroom. It’s somewhat mind-boggling that this engine is still referred to as a Renault rather than an Infiniti. With regards to the V8 supercars it could be that RB are watching and waiting as they did while linked with Sauber F1 team for all those years. Personally I think RB are here for the next few years at least (did they end up signing the Concorde agreement?) and regardless should they bail I’m sure Newey, Horner and co would find someone else to pick up the team.. dare I mention Honda..

  8. Elie says:

    It’s a good fit for Red Bull racing cause Infinity is a premium brand that is relatively new in the global auto space- has been in the state for some while and obviously it was great for RBR to be racing in Austin. I’m still very much a Nossan fan & would very much like to see that name in F1. I guess that’s one way parent co Renault can run 2 teams in F1. Perhaps we can see RBR Renault and Nissan Torro Rosso !

  9. Harvey says:

    Wonder if Red Bull is spooked by the US Food & Drug Administration investigation into 5 deaths caused by Monster Energy drinks? Monster, PepsiCo (AMP energy drink) and Living Essentials (5 hour Energy)were issued subpoenas in July by the New York State Attorney General related to their marketing and advertising practices. Could Red Bull be next?

  10. Formule 1 says:

    a good investment the are going to win the championship.

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