Sponsor Infiniti not rebadging Red Bull engines

By on Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mar.1 (GMM) Red Bull's new sponsor deal with Infiniti was finally confirmed at midnight on Tuesday, but reports that it involves the rebadging of the team's Renault engines proved wide of the mark.

Infiniti is the premium division of the Japanese carmaker Nissan, which is also headed by Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn.

Speculation had suggested a deal with reigning champions Red Bull worth at least $11 million, covering the cost of the team's customer engine supply.

But it is not a rebadging deal but rather a "marketing agreement" involving "technical activities" for 2011 and 2012, read a media statement.

It will involve "high profile" on-car and clothing branding, and "future technical collaboration" between Infiniti, Renault and Red Bull.

"The Red Bull Racing team will continue to utilise the Renault F1 engines in 2011 and 2012", confirmed the statement.

Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary wrote that "the hope is that the partnership will evolve into something more substantial".

Prior to the lifting of a media embargo, team boss Christian Horner told Bloomberg on Monday that Red Bull will retain its usual livery but with the Infiniti logo in four places.

He told Reuters that a Japanese manufacturer entering F1 is "great news".

"Maybe it will encourage more to follow," said Horner.

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