INFINITI will conclude its involvement in Formula 1™ at the end of 2020, following 10 successful years in the sport. This move will allow the brand to focus its efforts and resources on becoming a top challenger brand in the premium segment, concentrating on its most active markets (China and North America) and on its goal to create unique solutions for electrified performance powertrains.
The brand entered Formula 1™ in 2011 as commercial sponsor of Red Bull Racing to then become title sponsor of the team in 2012, establishing one of the most successful sponsorships in the history of the sport in terms of brand exposure, awareness and visibility.
Following the introduction of hybrid power trains in Formula 1™ in 2014 and given the brand’s extensive experience in hybrid performance, INFINITI became an active player of the sport in 2016 as technical partner of Renault DP World F1® Team for the co-development of the Energy Recovery System (ERS), one of the most innovative and sophisticated technologies in motorsport.
Throughout this decade, INFINITI has remained at the forefront of innovation with pioneering initiatives such as its widely acclaimed INFINITI Engineering Academy and the development of the groundbreaking INFINITI Project Black S working prototype in collaboration with Renault DP World F1Ò Team.
The electrified performance powertrain explored through the INFINITI Q60 Project Black S features an Energy Recovery System (ERS) inspired by the one proven in Formula 1™. The main aim of the prototype is to test how F1® electrified performance and thermal efficiency can potentially be transferred and applied to the brand’s future electrified vehicles.
The five-year technical collaboration with Renault DP World F1Ò Team has been very successful for INFINITI. During the partnership, several INFINITI engineers have worked 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.
The INFINITI Engineering Academy has also thrived during this technical partnership, given the unique opportunity it offered 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, 50% of whom went on to secure full-time positions with INFINITI or in motorsport after completing their placements.
“We are enormously proud of our participation in Formula 1™ and the successes and milestones we’ve achieved,” said Tommaso Volpe, Nissan and INFINITI global motorsports director. “Our involvement in the sport has gone from strength to strength during these past 10 years, and we have not only increased our brand awareness but also strengthened our technical credentials and capabilities. Now it is the right time for us to concentrate our resources and all the knowledge gained through our Formula 1™ activities in the research and development of our new technologies and future powertrains.
“This decade in Formula 1™ has been an incredible and fruitful journey for us. We have had the privilege of collaborating very closely with companies that shared our goals and supported our vision, and we certainly come out of this experience wiser and stronger. We wholeheartedly thank all of our partners, and especially everyone at Renault DP World F1Ò Team, for the fantastic work we’ve done together during the past few years and for their continued support as we begin a new chapter focused on our development. We are excited about this new endeavor we’re embarking on and look forward to all the innovation and achievements that will come with it.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Renault DP World F1Ò Team managing director, commented: “Having INFINITI as technical partner during the past five years has constituted a real advantage for us. They’ve brought their significant experience in electrified performance to the team, which has been a crucial element of this partnership. But, in addition, being part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance meant that we could also collaborate together in innovative and groundbreaking projects such as the INFINITI Project Black S and the INFINITI Engineering Academy, which wouldn’t have been possible in any other context. The close collaboration we could establish with INFINITI since the beginning has been very beneficial for both parties; we’ve enjoyed every minute of it and are very proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. We wish INFINITI all the best in their future endeavors and remain open to new – and no doubt equally successful – collaborations with them in the future.”