February 28, 2011: Infiniti is taking life in the international fast lane, signing a marketing agreement with defending Formula One world champion Red Bull Racing Renault for the 2011 and 2012 F1 seasons.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
As part of the agreement, Japan-based Infiniti will have "high-profile branding presence" on the racing car, drivers clothing and related team uniforms and equipment and be involved in marketing supporting the team and Formula One events.
In addition, Infiniti said it would work with Renault to "forge future technical collaboration" with the Red Bull Racing, which will to use Renault F1 engines in 2011 and 2012. Lead drivers are Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
Other car companies with Formula 1 marketing/sponsorship deals include Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW and Lotus. Red Bull also has a second team that competes in F1.
The 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship Race Calendar begins March 25 with the Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne and runs through Nov. 25-27.
"Over the mid-term, Infiniti will be simultaneously expanding its global presence and broadening its product range," Andy Palmer, svp for Infiniti, said in a statement. "Given these twin ambitions, it is clear that 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."
"It is clear that Formula One offers us an unrivalled global communications platform, complementing Infiniti's ethos of 'inspired performance.'"
According to Red Bull Racing Team principal Christian Horner, "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."
Bernard Rey, president of Renault Sport F1, acknowledged that growth in Formula 1 "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."