Could Infiniti take over Red Bull?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Nick 4 years, 9 months ago.

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    Lucas Wilson

    Hi all, just thought (if i’m allowed) to start a little rumour, its probably 99.9% wrong and i’m sure many of you will tell me that, but whats F1 without a few rumours?

    As i’m sure you all know, Red Bull got itself a new title sponser in the car maker Infiniti. Now if I recall, there is a bit of a pattern when an F1 team get’s a car maker as a main sponsor.

    A few examples: BAR entered the sport in 1998 with the car maker Honda as a main sponsor, a few years down the line and Honda bought the team and it was renamed Honda; in 2011, Virgin racing started the season with its title sponsor in the form of a small Russian car maker Marrusia, in 2012 the team became Marussia.


    Now i’m a big fan of ‘road cars’ (I even know a man who builds sports cars) and as a petrolhead I know that Infiniti is having a bit of bother. You see, Infiniti are not shifting enough cars in, lets say, Europe (in fact Infiniti has sold less than 20 cars this year in the UK). Nissan would be keen to promote its luxury brand world-wide.


    So wouldn’t it be a good solution to buy out a large share in a world famous world championship winning F1 team? and as far as I see both sides will end up winning, Red Bull would get extra dosh from the Nissan Group whilst winning championships under the name Infiniti – good for sponsorship.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    So … what’s the rumour? That Infiniti will become Red Bull’s title sponsor? That’s already been confirmed.


    Lucas Wilson

    No, that Infiniti/Nissan would buy out a large share in the team and rename it Infiniti.



    I wouldn’t mind, the more manufacturers the better. Besides Red Bull aren’t going to last forever so I would provide a lot more stability for the team.



    I don’t see Mateschitz and Red Bull letting go of their share in the team anytime soon. The company is on solid financial footing, and can easily afford to continue running in F1. Red Bull Racing, the team, is an important branch of their marketing strategy, which focuses on “extreme” or unusual sports – BMX, F1, stunt planes, even skydiving from space. They’ve bought over not one, but two constructors (RBR and STR). They obviously want the “Red Bull” brand name to stick.

    Thus, I see no real reason why Red Bull would yield further to Nissan/Infiniti when they’ve already come to an agreement over title sponsorship. It would be nice to see more car manufacturers in the sport, though.



    If Infiniti wants a team, I think Red Bull, as mentioned above me, wouldn’t be the one selling. Unless something dramatic happens to either their financing or the sport, they are likely to stay a while. However, we have seen Mercedes, who always wanted more control over McLaren starting/buying their own team when it became clear that it wasn’t going to happen. Perhaps they’ll buy a team like Mercedes or Lotus in the future, but I don’t think Infiniti is even aimed at Europe right now, much like Lexus. It’d be a weird move.



    While I do not see Red Bull leaving F1 anytime soon, I can see them ending their status as team owner (first with STR, then if needed, with RBR too). This can happen for a number of reasons, but one stands out: They stop winning. This is basically what happened to Benetton. When your team stops winning, the expense of owning and operating your own team becomes a lot harder to justify. Yes, F1 is a great channel to market Red Bull, but doesn’t sponsorship alone achieve similar (if not identical) results?

    This explains why they really need to keep the guys who are winning for them (Newey and Vettel). They can overcome losing Vettel (they could lure Alonso or Hamilton over, or perhaps Felix da Costa is the real deal and can pick up from where Vettel would left off). But losing Newey is a much tougher blow. In any case, the moment Red Bull see it as more of an expense than a profit, they may choose to leave and sell out to Infiniti.

    Bottom-line: it will probably happen in the distant future (by 2020?). But unless they turn up a stinker with the 2014 rules, I don’t see it happening in the next 3 years.


    Bradley Downton

    How about they take over Toro Rosso?
    The we’d have Red Bull Racing and Infiniti, both basically owned by Red Bull, but one run as Red Bull and one run as a Car Manufacturer.



    To be honest, I believe Infiniti are doing the smart thing and just jumping on the Red Bull band wagon, rather than buying the team out right, just sponsoring the most successful team of the last 3 years is enough to promote their company as it is without them having to bother about the difficult race craft and financial areas of running an F1 team. This way the brand sells itself as it is linked with a championship winning team.



    How about they take over Toro Rosso?

    If Red Bull is still running the team, how would Infiniti be promoted? ‘The car manufacturer that isn’t allowed to beat Red Bull’, or something like that. Car manufacturers, even more so than energy drinks or fashion brands (@journeyer that’s a pretty good comparison, actually), can’t afford to not win. We’ve already seen this with Renault, BMW, Toyota and Honda in the not so-distant past.

    Again, I don’t think Infiniti is aimed at Europe, or even at the same market a brand like Mercedes is. It’d be weird to have a team barely scoring points for a luxury/sporty carmaker, when Daimler isn’t at all happy with Mercedes’ lack of wins.

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