Infinite speed by Infiniti

The partnership between Infiniti and Formula One bring forth innovations, on and off track

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29 November 2012

I hear a roar in the distance, turn around, and there it is, rapidly approaching. In the blink of an eye, it flashes past at 350 km/h and disappears. All that's left is a buzz in my ears, the smell of burnt tyres, and electric excitement in the air. I'm thinking, “Now that’s what cars are made for!”

Formula One is without doubt the ultimate test for automotive technology, and the greatest challenge is to be the best, race after race. But you need more than just good drivers and fast cars. Earlier this year, I met the world champion team Red Bull Racing to see what it takes to be the fastest. I quickly realized that the key to success is teamwork. Red Bull Racing has two drivers, a ground crew of 90, over 600 engineers at RBR’s headquarters, as well as technical support from their sponsor, Japanese luxury car manufacturer Infiniti.

Sigl explained: “There’s a clear synergy between Infiniti and Red Bull Racing in how we approach performance and the fact we are both challenger brands.” What does the collaboration between Inf initi and Formula One entail? Given F1’s visibility and popularity, there is definitely a lot of marketing involved, but what exactly is Infiniti’s role on the technical side of things? RBR Team Principal Christian Horner replied to this one. He explained, “We are working closely with Infiniti engineers and looking at future technologies that as an independent team we would never have access to.” He also mentioned Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems and other improvements that are used on track.

The encounter between Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel and Infiniti’s Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura led to the creation of a new car model, the FX Sebastian Vettel Version. It is the result of Infiniti’s exquisite design and Vettel’s racing experience. This Formula One-inspired crossover was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year and it will soon be available around the globe.

As I reflected on what Horner had said about future technology, I recalled Vettel's and Webber’s race at Nordschleife circuit earlier this year, in which they put the Infiniti M and its hybrid model through their paces. The result? Let’s just say that Webber concluded with “next time I’ll have a crack at the hybrid.” Infiniti has not only been turning heads with their sleek petrol and hybrid cars, they caused a stir at the Geneva Motor Show 2012 with the Emerg-E. This model is 100% electric and 100% sexy! Or as Webber commented after his test drive: “Cars like this have to be the future – fast, fun and clean.” Kudos to the team, and let’s wish them truly electrifying results!