Vettel’s excess of success a concern for Infiniti

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2013In the round-up: Red Bull sponsors Infiniti admit there is a downside to Sebastian Vettel’s sustained success.

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Infiniti: Vettel’s dominance is bad news – for now (Autocar)

Infiniti executive vice president Andy Palmer “We are in F1 to gain awareness of our brand, and that?s all about getting eyeballs on screens. From that point of view you could say Sebastian has been too successful.”

CSST blames racing group for Grand Prix death (CTV News)

“[Marie-France] Vermette [of the workers' health and safety group Commission de la Sante et de la Securite du Travail] noted that the event?s promoters say that the crew was rushing because fans had started to flood onto the track, and they didn?t want spectators to touch the car.”

Ecclestone laughs off claims of intimidation (The Telegraph)

“It emerged in court on Thursday that Gribkowksy, who has been jailed for eight and a half years in Germany for his role in one of the country’s largest corruption scandals, at one stage felt so threatened by Formula One’s chief executive that he went to the police to register his concerns.”

Eddie Jordan and Alain Prost paid ??10m each in key F1 deal, court told (The Guardian)

Ecclestone’s response to being asked whether he thought it was acceptable to pay a bribe to a public official: “I’ll have to think about that. I wish I’d thought about it before actually.”

‘Everybody wants to have security’ (ESPN)

Nico Hulkenberg: “It’s very rarely that someone – only Lewis [Hamilton] comes into my mind – comes into Formula One and is right away in a top team and in a competitive car. Most of the drivers have to earn their way through and really fight for a top drive and maybe it’s not the time yet but I think my performances show that I would be ready to deliver good things.”

Teams on the limit to get new cars ready (Autosport)

McLaren operations director Sam Michael: “Teams now have operational procedures to make sure they don’t make mistakes, and almost all of those will go in the bin [for 2014] and we will have to start again. That is why you will see variations next year.”

New FIA personality of the year and FIA moment of the year (FIA)

“In the FIA Moment of the Year category, followers of the FIA Facebook page will be able to vote on 12 videos selected by the FIA Jury, each featuring action from numerous FIA Championships over the past year.”

The real Vettel (MotorSport)

“I tried most sports when I was younger ?ǣ and hated sharing. I didn?t really enjoy football, for instance, partly because I wasn?t very good ?ǣ perhaps that?s why the others never gave me the ball. Mainly, though, I think I?m selfish, as you have to be in F1: I want to do things on my own terms.”

End of an era: signing off the final Mercedes-Benz V8 engine, FF73! (Mercedes via YouTube)

http://youtu.be/82jSbQaE5Hk

Guest Blog: How F1 has changed, by Ed Gorman (James Allen on F1)

Lewis [Hamilton] seems to have turned into the paddock?s answer to Zsa Zsa Gabor with his pet dog in tow and lots of other superstar nonsense but no sign of another title.”

250 Hard Drives Used To Make One Epic F1 Car (Legit Reviews)

“Rob Ryan carefully crafted this F1 car and at first glance it is hard to imagine that it came from hundreds of hard drives.”

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Comment of the day

An observation on Bernie Ecclestone’s legal disputed from @Graham228221:

As a British tax payer, I?m increasingly annoyed that HM Revenue and Customs have not been taking up a case against Ecclestone and his Bambino Trust.

He has admitted now several times that he paid a huge bribe to this banker because he felt ??threatened? that his tax arrangements would be revealed and that he could be liable to pay out a huge amount in unpaid tax (I?ve seen ??2 billion being mentioned).

If this isn?t an admission of tax evasion I don?t know what is ?ǣ he owes the UK a huge amount of money, and our government has done nothing.
@Graham228221

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Honda ended their most successful stint in F1 as engine suppliers on this day in 1992 with another race victory. Gerhard Berger, driving his last race for McLaren, won the Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide after team mate Ayrton Senna collided with Nigel Mansell.

That brought Honda’s ten-year involvement in F1 since 1983 to an end. They will return as McLaren’s engine suppliers in 2015.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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89 comments on Vettel’s excess of success a concern for Infiniti

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  1. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 8th November 2013, 0:14

    Well Infiniti, F1 is about who goes the fastest, not who gets more cameras. And you DO have cameras when Webber gets his car on fire!!!

    • @omarr-pepper

      Well Infiniti, F1 is about who goes the fastest, not who gets more cameras. And you DO have cameras when Webber gets his car on fire!!!

      Actually, it’s not, at least not w/r/t the business of F1. It’s about the return on sponsorship investment meeting or exceeding expectations and delivering quantifiable, bankable value that raises brand awareness and drives sales/revenue. Otherwise no one would sponsor any of the mid-field teams (let alone Caterham). Sheesh.

  2. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 8th November 2013, 0:20

    Interesting affirmation from Infinity. Logically, in the current state F1 is in, sponsors would want to have their logos on either Mercedes, Lotus, or Ferrari; since they make up 90% of the TV coverage.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 8th November 2013, 0:38

      @kingshark Infinity isn´t Infiniti… Infinuty= Quantum= Lotus ;)

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 8th November 2013, 0:53

      90% of the TV coverage in the race maybe. But having the winning car of your Director of Peformance in tyre smoke on every news programme and all newspapers in countries where F1 matters makes up for that I would say.

      @kingshark

      • @mike-dee

        But having the winning car of your Director of Peformance in tyre smoke on every news programme and all newspapers in countries where F1 matters makes up for that I would say.

        So an executive VP of one of Vettel’s major team sponsors says that he’s too dominant a driver to deliver sufficient return on the company’s sponsorship investment, and you’re going to tell him he’s wrong, based on what you saw on TV or read in the newspaper after one race?

        Epic.

        • aka_robyn said on 8th November 2013, 3:07

          I suppose Vettel ought to throw a few races to make the sponsor happy. Wouldn’t want them to feel they aren’t getting a sufficient return on their investment!

          • Akshay (@hamilfan) said on 8th November 2013, 8:41

            He he good joke there . And I’m not even a vettel fan .

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th November 2013, 18:10

            yes, maybe he should just sit out Q3, or hey, even better, run the whole of Qualifying with on set of tyres and see where he ends up. And then start the race on that same set (if he gets into Q3) and race to the podium. Or maybe for fun he should swap seats with Daniel right now, and show what he can do with the current STR car.

            So to say, to raise the bars, go into EPIC mode on his racing game @aka_robyn!

        • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 8th November 2013, 7:30

          You don’t get my point. He is “complaining” that Vettel is not shown enough because he leads all the time and is not shown on TV. To this I responded that Infiniti got lots of exposure when Vettel’s car was all over the news after winning the WDC.

          Furthermore, if you read the article more carefully, you will find that they are actually very happy as in the long run their brand will be seen as having supported a very successful driver and team.

          @joepa

          • David said on 8th November 2013, 13:28

            I think the actual concern is TV viewership. The remaining races mean nothing, so numbers are going to go down.
            I don’t know about where you live, but where I live, 50% of the commercials are Infiniti commercials.

          • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 8th November 2013, 20:47

            In Belgium, we mostly have Renault ads with Kimi Räikkönen in the ad breaks.

  3. Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 8th November 2013, 0:35

    That is the most senselesse claim I have ever read or heard of.

  4. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 8th November 2013, 0:38

    Surely Infiniti should be more wound up about the Sky F1 deal than Vettel winning if they are concerned about viewing figures.
    However, there haven’t been any ‘classic’ races this year although Vettel is only a small factor in that.

  5. George (@george) said on 8th November 2013, 0:49

    I dont think Vettel’s success is Infiniti’s problem, it’s more that their cars look like dog turds and occupy some bizarre micro niche in the market.

  6. I do not get why Infinity are so nervous about Seb being ‘too successful’, that’s like saying Puma won’t sponsor Usail Bolt because he has dominated the last 2 olympics during the track and field days, that is being this ‘too successful’ BS. I just don’t get where they are getting their logic from

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th November 2013, 0:58

      Because they think people will stop watching if Vettel continues to dominate. And they’re not wrong – I lost interest in the season around the German Grand Prix because of his dominance, though it was one of several reasons (I was sick of the complaints about DRS and tyres and the way the teams kept trying to manipulate the media to put pressure on Pirelli).

    • @kieferh4 – uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, b/c sports sponsorship is a business decision for a company (not a pure sporting endeavour) and Vettel’s dominance means reduced TV coverage and fewer media impressions for the Infinit brand, thereby radically reducing the value of the return on their very expensive marketing investment?

    • Spinmastermic (@spinmastermic) said on 8th November 2013, 3:33

      Their logic……. did they ever sponsor Lance Armstrong……?

      • Robbie said on 10th November 2013, 14:29

        After reading several of the responses so far, I feel compelled to point out that nowhere IMHO is Palmer ‘complaining’ or ‘nervous’…some of the words applied to him. At the very beginning of the article he explains that the benefit of SV’s success in the current situation of their dominance is LONG TERM. If it is indeed a fact that viewership can fall off when a Championship is decided with several races to go, then he is only pointing out a fact. Doesn’t it go without saying that he would rather this situation, than coming second four years running? Is it not a fact that everyone in F1, and the fans too, benefit when the Championship comes down to the last race of the season?

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 8th November 2013, 1:05

    For me personally, the sponsorship on the cars plays no role on me wanting to go and buy those products.
    Just because Red Bull are called “Red Bull” and have it plastered across their car, doesn’t make me want to go and buy some Red Bull. It just differentiates their car from the rest by saying its a “Red Bull”. It’s just words.

    Same with any other team. I don’t feel the need to go sign up for a Vodafone plan just because Mclaren have it across their car. Or to go buy a Blackberry because of Mercedes.

    To me it seems a futile pursuit. Maybe some people are more impressionable.

    • Roald (@roald) said on 8th November 2013, 1:25

      I doubt many people will go out and buy Red Bull after Vettel’s won a race because they’re so tempted by the stickers on vettel’s car. However, commercials and sponsoring work and that’s a proven fact. It’s just subconscious most of the time…

    • Brian (@bforth) said on 8th November 2013, 2:03

      @tophercheese21 Having done marketing work, I can tell you that the point of sponsorship (and visual advertisement at large) is memorability and familiarity. Sponsors want to make their product the first one you think of when you want to buy a car, fizzy drink or cell phone provider. It pins hope on people buying the first thing that pops into mind. That said, I never really paid it any mind either.

      Of course, some people will run off to buy something because it’s linked to a successful name, but that’s more the exception than the rule. And sports team apparel is an exception to that exception.

    • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 8th November 2013, 8:27

      @tophercheese21 I hear exactly what you’re saying…

      Now… where did I put my can of red bull? Oh there it is, next to my vodaphone mobile, which is sitting on top of my 40 gallon drum of petronas oil.

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 8th November 2013, 9:01

        Dont forget your bottle of Kingfisher… or your Chelsea FC merch..
        haha.

        This reminds me, I need to get a loan from GE money.

        • TedEadman007 said on 8th November 2013, 17:23

          ********! I usually drink Red Bull while talking on my Blackberry on Vodafone at a Shell Petrol station filling up my Infiniti stocked with the Pirelli PZerof. I then come home and check my Santander 123 account using my Acer which comes with the latest Kaspersky software. At 6PM every night (according to my Rolex), I throw on my Geox’s and Puma training gear and go for a drive in my Fiat. I come back home, throw my clothes in the NEC washing machine, and shower with Clear shampoo, shave with my Gillette, and relax with a Kingfisher. I’m flying to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi next week on Virgin, which I paid for with a GE Credit card.
          Don’t tell me brand advertising doesn’t work!

          • Robbie said on 10th November 2013, 14:43

            Lol, while I take the point here about the literal and direct response to ads and marketing…ie. SV wins on Sunday…how many go out and buy an Infiniti on Monday…I’m sure you folks are being tongue in cheek. Racing at all levels would not exist if there was not measurable success from the marketing value it provides. More importantly, how do you sell your brand if nobody knows about it? How do you scoop the competition other than to try to create the awareness of your brand as being better than the others? It’s about getting your brand out there and getting some portion of the population to at least try your product once and then having word of mouth do a lot of the work too. Presumably with brands that are truly desirable and result in billions in sales, a little marketing push can go a long long way. It’s a building process and can work even if ‘only’ one out of ten respond to an ad immediately.

  8. Shena (@shena) said on 8th November 2013, 1:14

    Definitely there’s some truth in it though, having read the entire article it kind of feels like humble brag to me. LOL

    • Shena (@shena) said on 8th November 2013, 2:21

      Regarding the MotorSport article on Vettel, wow that was an excellent read! Since these days I feel like becoming more and more a fan of the man as a person rather than a fan of the driver I really enjoyed it. Maybe he’s just a 26 year-old guy (who’s still often called a kid) but I find him rather an inspiring figure.

  9. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 8th November 2013, 1:23

    Nice article by Ed Gorman. Glad to read that he shares my views on Whitmarsh and Domenciali.

    Both are too nice for their own good. Like Gorman says, “you have to be a *******”, thats the name of the game. Ron Dennis was so successful because he was the biggest “*******” of them all. Many people hated him, myself included, but you have to admit that he got things done. You dont come into F1 to make friends, you come here to win, and winning is all that matters.

    Next year will be the acid test for Domeniciali. If Ferrari are not in a position to win the championship, Im afraid he will need to go. I’m surprised Luca has kept him around for this long. Whitmarsh on the other hand may have an extended lease of life. With Honda coming on in 2015, Mclaren may want some continuity.

    From a Team Boss market perspective, I think Ross Brawn’s next move will play a part. I would love to see him back at Ferrari.

  10. HoHum (@hohum) said on 8th November 2013, 1:46

    Further to COTD, todays story reveals that Bambino Trust, a trust that Bernie has no knowledge of the workings of, or any control of, paid 3 team principals $10m. each to sign up to the 98 Concorde agreement, no wonder the 6 top teams don’t want the cash strapped rear-of-grid teams having an equal say in the future of F1, I can’t see Mercedes selling out for less than a quarter of what Bernie called a very cheap insurance payout when he bunged Gribowski $44m.

    • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 8th November 2013, 7:36

      Mmm. But then by that logic, you might expect Bernie to *want* the smaller teams to be able to have an equal say because the minnows would be cheaper to bribe than a company like Mercedes, as you point out.

    • Nick (@nick-uk) said on 8th November 2013, 18:33

      @hohum What I found most entertaining about that article was when Bernie said “I don’t know whatever it is and didn’t have anything to do with it,”… “But I KNOW these teams got $10m each.”

  11. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 8th November 2013, 1:55

    Infiniti branded on the Red Bull car is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Were I Infiniti, my concern would be why is a “fancy” Nissan carmaker advertising on a Renault powered energy drink F1 car?

    • uan (@uan) said on 8th November 2013, 2:46

      @bullmello

      the why is the Renault-Nissan Strategic Partnership http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault-Nissan_Alliance .

      They are pretty much joined at the hip.

      • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 8th November 2013, 3:13

        @uan – I’m aware of that, but many consumers are not even aware that Infiniti is the “fancy” brand of Nissan let alone that Renault and Nissan have an alliance. It just seems like an extreme leap of faith for an advertiser to think the average consumer will make this connection when the usual direction is to appeal to the lowest common denominator. And now they are worried that Vettel/Red Bull is too successful? Their whole sponsorship seems like a major disconnect although I’m sure Red Bull is happy with it.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th November 2013, 9:03

      @bullmello – Infiniti is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota or Acura is to Honda: the “luxury” version. It’s intended as being a more presitiguous alternative to the common road-going models.

      Nissan and Renault have a strategic partnership, with each company owning a small portion of the other. Nissan have used Red Bull Racing as a marketing platform to push the international expansion of Infiniti. Where it was mostly sold in America, they’ve recently started branching out into Europe and Australasia.

      • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 8th November 2013, 16:54

        @prisoner-monkeys – Thanks, I get all that. I’m just saying the average consumer makes no connection between Renault and Infiniti. That and the surprising remarks that Vettel’s success is hurting them makes their sponsorship even more puzzling. I used to work for a NASCAR team (lower tier) as a web designer and photographer. Normally the sponsors are ecstatic when their driver wins.

        I think the overall premise of a carmaker sponsorship on a F1 car where they are not the constructor, or even the engine supplier, makes for a clumsy consumer connection. Quite easy to understand Mercedes = Mercedes, Toyota = Toyota, Ferrari = Ferrari, etc.

        However, Infiniti/Red Bull/Renault =(?) Infiniti which is owned by Nissan who have a relationship with Renault which actually powers the Red Bull F1 car; this makes for an advertising nightmare explanation in which the average consumer will fall asleep halfway through. I have trouble visualizing a single consumer saying; “I heard Sebastian Vettel won another championship driving that Red Bull F1 car, I think I will go out and buy an Infiniti!”

  12. Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 8th November 2013, 2:16

    Giving someone $44m seems a very unorthadox way of ‘intimidating’ them.

  13. MtlRacer (@mtlracer) said on 8th November 2013, 4:03

    Hulkenberg has short memory. Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve (2nd in championship his first year) both entered F1 driving for Williams (when it was still top 3 team).

  14. Eastman (@eastman) said on 8th November 2013, 5:54

    The Marshall’s death in Canada has troubled me for a while. Reading this makes me feel partially responsible. I was one of those anxious overeager fans rushing through that fencing and pouring onto the track as we raced towards start finish. The ambulance blasting its horn and sirens as it tried to push through the crowd to reach the wounded man is a very vivid memory. Over the past couple years the opening of the fencing has been done earlier and earlier as fans push and shove to try to be able to literally sprint towards start finish from the Senna’s so they can see the podium and anthems. We are a greedy lot, from marbles to signage to debris, the fans scoop up everything. If the herd of us ever actually got hold of a car I’m quite sure we’d tear it apart with bare hands. Now it feels selfish to say, but I hope this doesn’t remove this special moment from the weekend. It is both exhilarating and amazing to be racing one another along the same track our heroes just have been for the past three days, with flags flying, surrounded by fellow lovers of this sport as everyone is singing and yelling; it is a very joyful experience. However I will always be sorry for the loss of Mr. Robinson’s.

    • sadly they were doing the whole procedure wrong. He was far to close, he was in the blind spot of the driver. Driver was going forward not backward with a vision blocking load. And they say he was going to fast.

    • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 8th November 2013, 13:05

      @eastman Its great that you share your compassion in regards to the unfortunate death, but don’t feel responsible at all. Accidents happen. I’m sure I’m speaking for everyone when I say I wished this accident didn’t happen, but it was due to many contributing factors and possibly lack lf experience. Training and practice needs to prioritized for future events, to avoid this situation re-occurring.

  15. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 8th November 2013, 7:22

    Now that the V8 engine will be gone will Sauber (BMW) finally let us see it in the cutaway car? There’s no point in hiding it anymore.

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