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  • INFINITI is Title and Vehicle Performance Partner of INFINITI Red Bull Racing
  • Real technical relationship and close collaboration between the two engineering teams
  • Two-way technology transfer in chassis dynamics, weight saving and efficiency

Detroit / Hong Kong - INFINITI enriched their relationship with INFINITI Red Bull Racing at the beginning of the 2013 to become the multiple World Championship winning team's Title and Vehicle Performance Partner.

One year on, at the beginning of 2014, a great deal has been achieved through the deeper technical relationship and close collaboration between the two engineering teams.

Director of Performance

Sebastian Vettel, four-time Formula One World Drivers' Champion, began his relationship with INFINITI in 2011, and this partnership was enriched in early 2013 when Vettel was appointed INFINITI's Director of Performance.

The first INFINITI model to benefit from Vettel's input was the Q50 premium sport sedan. Vettel spent time with INFINITI's technicians in the engineering studio, and on the test-track, providing feedback on specific areas such as steering, brake feel and performance, as well as ergonomics, driver positioning and seat design.

Beginning in 2013 in his first full year of an enriched Director of Performance role, Vettel spent time at various circuits and facilities testing and benchmarking INFINITI and competitor vehicles. In crucial areas of driver engagement and enjoyment, such as steering and braking, Vettel provided his experience, knowledge and testing feedback directly to INFINITI engineers, noting the minutest of details.

Bringing Sebastian into the engineering fold was a new departure for INFINITI - it is the first time the company had worked with a race driver to develop and fine tune different aspects of any model.

Vettel's unique ability to translate driver feel and vehicle behavior into an engineering language that can lead to specification changes, adjustments and fine-tuning are exactly the kind of skills that INFINITI wanted.

While direct and precisely balanced steering and powerfully controlled braking systems are fundamentals for INFINITI drivers, his key development feedback went further still.

As an example, one of the first points the world champion made was not about the acceleration or engine performance, but about the prototype seats in the Q50. The engineering conversation covered the support the seat was providing the driver, his comments aimed at how more lower support would enable greater arm movement and, so, providing the driver with a greater feeling of control.

From chassis, powertrain and seating through to interior refinement, Vettel has contributed greatly to INFINITI's passionate pursuit of performance and precision in his role of Director of Performance.

Next on his developmental agenda will be the upcoming INFINITI premium compact vehicle. As part of his work, Vettel has already benchmark tested rival products and will continue to optimize the car's chassis dynamics, performance and overall 'feel' during the development phase as it edges closer to start of sales in 2015.

Technology cross-over

Technology sharing is high on the agenda too, and examples of this can already be seen on both sides. The continual search for performance is often directed at finding incremental gains focused on weight saving and increasing efficiency. Quite often the question is asked about what technologies go from Formula One to road - sometimes the question is the other way. INFINITI has been able to share a number of key road technologies with the Formula One team.

The gear paddle shifters on the RB9 race cars are inspired by those on INFINITI road cars such as the Q50, and crafted from the same light-weight, high-strength magnesium material provided by INFINITI.

Also being used from INFINITI's road cars is a Diamond-Like Coating on the gear ratios of the RB9 gearboxes. This coating is used in all INFINITI road cars and provides a number of benefits, including reducing frictional losses in the drivetrain.

INFINITI is learning a great deal from the team's carbon fiber expertise and the incredibly rapid developmental speed with which they are able to respond to challenges in the fast-paced world of Formula One.

The team have benefitted from INFINITI's vast resource pool, conducting extreme sunlight and climate tests of the new pit-stop light system which helped them break pit-stop time records in 2013.

The people

Regular Engineering Exchanges are held between INFINITI and INFINITI Red Bull Racing, which see the sharing of technical expertise and best practices.

A permanent INFINITI engineer is based at INFINITI Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes, UK, working within the factory to facilitate the integration and collaboration of both parties.

He'll be joined in 2014 by two more placement engineers brought to the team through the INFINITI Performance Engineering Academy, deepening the collaboration further and helping to bring fresh thinking to the technical cross-over between INFINITI's road cars and Formula One.


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INFINITI Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in approximately 50 countries. The INFINITI brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan and the United States. Production in China and Europe will start soon along with the expansion of the brand's portfolio.

As the Title Partner and Vehicle Performance Partner of INFINITI Red Bull Racing, INFINITI has a far-reaching technical collaboration with the Formula One team, and Sebastian Vettel, its four-time World Champion driver, serves as INFINITI's Director of Performance.

More information about INFINITI, its Total Ownership Experience® and its industry leading technologies can be found at For the latest news on INFINITI in Formula One, visit, or follow on Twitter @INFINITIGP.

About INFINITI in Formula One:

INFINITI, the premium automotive brand is Title Partner and Vehicle Performance Partner of INFINITI Red Bull Racing. With a deep technical collaboration across people, process and technologies, an 'open door' approach is enabling both sides to access a pool of innovation, new technologies and R&D resources in the shared pursuit of precision and performance.

Since the partnership's inception in 2011 it has already seen the launch of the INFINITI FX Vettel Edition and product development input from Sebastian Vettel and test driver Sebastien Buemi for the all-new INFINITI Q50 premium sports saloon. INFINITI continues to be the most visible automotive brand in Formula One, and the deepened partnership will ensure closer alignment on an increasing number of future team collaborations.

For interesting content on INFINITI in Formula One visit: or download the InfinitGP iPad app from the iTunes Store.


For INFINITI U.S. Communications, contact:

Kyle Bazemore
Senior Manager
Office: 615-725-3210

Alexandra Amelang
Office: 615-725-1455

For INFINITI Global Communications, contact:

Stefan Weinmann
General Manager, INFINITI Global Communications
INFINITI Motor Company Ltd., Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3948 0126
Mobile: +852 9447 9973

Jon Walsh
Senior Manager, INFINITI Global Communications
INFINITI Motor Company Ltd., Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3948 0129
Mobile: +852 9447 9705

Issued by Infiniti