Joining hands with Formula 1™ welcomes a brand to an overall development arena – not only mere marketing advantages. Research and development of new technology and new products are key to this. In that sense, Infiniti has made good use of the 10 years it spent as a sponsor of Red Bull Racing. Motorsport as well as every day mobility are the ultimate beneficiaries, as INFINITI leaves the stage. The close of the 2020 F1 season brought the partnership to a close too.
Following 10 successful years in the sport, INFINITI is moving on from the F1 scene to focus on its most active markets and on the electrification of its product portfolio. The key efforts and resources will now be aimed at becoming a top challenger brand in the premium segment, concentrating on China and North America, while on the tech front, focusing on creating unique solutions for electrified performance powertrains. The brand entered Formula 1™ in 2011 as commercial sponsor of Red Bull Racing, soon becoming title sponsor of the team in 2012.
Hybrid power trains were introduced in Formula 1™ in 2014. Two years later, this helped INFINITI to use its established expertise in hybrid performance when it joined hands with Renault DP World F1® Team as technical partner for the co-development of the Energy Recovery System (ERS), one of the most innovative and sophisticated technologies in motorsport.
This led to the development of the groundbreaking INFINITI Project Black S working prototype in collaboration with Renault DP World F1 Team. The INFINITI Q60 Project Black S features an Energy Recovery System (ERS) inspired by the one proven in Formula 1™ with the aim of testing how F1® electrified performance and thermal efficiency can potentially be transferred and applied to the brand’s future electrified vehicles. During the five-year technical collaboration with Renault DP World F1 Team, several INFINITI engineers got to work with the F1Ò team in the development of the racecar’s ERS, and both companies have raced 100 Formula 1Ô Grands Prix together, achieving a total of 459 championship points and three podiums.
Another commendable initiative in inspiring innovation is the widely acclaimed INFINITI Engineering Academy. Through the Academy, this technical partnership offered the unique opportunity to work six months with INFINITI and six months with Renault DP World F1Ò Team. This global recruitment program received nearly 30,000 registrations from engineering students in 44 countries and 133 universities throughout the five-year period; hosted 28 final events around the world; and selected 33 winners, around half of whom stayed with INFINITI or in motorsport after completing their placements.
Motorsport figures show that the sponsorship cost 10 million euros to Infiniti in 2020, but this is one investment where everyone takes back more than what one puts in.
“Aston Martin – Return to the Grid.” Playing out at Melbourne in 77 days!
Talking about the enormous brand awareness opportunity that Infiniti enjoyed and exploited for a decade, Aston Martin is another brand that understands the power of Formula 1. The company’s title sponsorship of Red Bull Racing was worth 30 million euros in 2020, but Aston Martin will now take this to new heights as it joins the F1 elite as a manufacturer. It is after six decades that the power icon will flash on the leaderboard of Grand Prix racing. The Aston Martin Formula One Team will make its race debut in Melbourne, Australia, on 21 March 2021. The team will reveal its 2021 F1 car and livery in February, which includes four-time Formula 1 World Champion, Sebastian Vettel and multiple Grand Prix podium finisher, Lance Stroll.
Like a curtain-raiser to the Formula 1 presence, the British marque has been highlighting its worth in sportscar racing through multiple class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other wins in recent years. Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin Lagonda Executive Chairman said: “Formula 1 is a hugely powerful platform that will play a key part in the overall Aston Martin strategy as we seek to take the company forward. It is a truly global sport with a huge audience that we believe can help reignite the brand and further increase its desirability all over the world.”