Red Bull Racing has strengthened its partnership with flagship automobile brand Infiniti after signing an increased multi-year agreement that raises the deal from a mere brand awareness venture onto a more technical footing.
From 2012, Infiniti branding will feature more prominently on Red Bull's F1 cars, with enhanced logos on the side of the chassis and the top of the cockpit. The Infiniti name and logo will also be displayed on new areas of the drivers' overalls, as well as on team equipment, while the team will gain access to some of Infiniti's performance technology.
“In the short time that we have been involved with Infiniti, it has become clear that the closer we work together the more performance advantages can be gained by both
sides," RBR team principal Christian Horner commented, "It has been a phenomenally successful first season to date, and deepening our partnership further provides us even more scope to share knowledge and expertise, leading to mutual benefits on the track and the road."
According to Andy Palmer, executive vice-president of Infiniti's parent company Nissan, the accelerated programme, coming just seven months after the original partnership was announced, demonstrates Infiniti's shared vision with Red Bull Racing and works streams are already in place to develop the partnership into a technical collaboration.
“When we announced the partnership back in March, our single objective was to boost global brand awareness for Infiniti," he confirmed, "In just seven months, the results have exceeded even our most ambitious targets, leading to us to becoming the most highly-exposed automotive brand in F1 this season. As we look ahead to the second year of our partnership with Red Bull Racing, we are now extending into exciting new areas of technical and product collaboration.”
When the original deal was announced earlier this season, many assumed that it would lead to RBR's Renault engines being rebadged with immediate effect but, although that did not happen, Horner would not rule the possibility out, particularly if their is greater co-operation between the two parties of the new-for-2014 powerplant.
"Obviously, in 2014, nothing is decided yet in terms of whether it will be a Renault or even an Infiniti engine," he told Reuters
, "It is clear it will be a Renault-Nissan alliance engine, [but] it is something that obviously is under consideration."