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Nissan brand to remain absent from Formula 1

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 18th March, 2012 - 2:00am

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Infiniti has featured on the Red Bull Racing entries since last season

Infiniti has featured on the Red Bull Racing entries since last season

The Nissan Motor Company has confirmed that its Formula 1 activities will remain under its Infiniti brand for the foreseeable future, despite speculation that a change could be on the cards.

The Japanese company has altered its global motorsport presence in recent months, adding V8 Supercars Championship and DeltaWing Le Mans programs to its SuperGT and LMP2 sportscar activities, while stepping away from the GT1 World Championship.

Nissan is currently in the second year of a multi-year partnership with Red Bull Racing, which by contrast to its other racing efforts, uses the company’s ‘performance luxury’ Infiniti brand.

While Infiniti continues to lack the global presence of its parent, particularly in Formula One’s growing Asian markets, Nissan’s corporate vice-president of global marketing and communications Simon Sproule has denied that the company is considering a switch.

“Our deal with Red Bull Racing is a multi-year deal, we’re very happy with Infiniti’s role as, firstly, a sponsor partner, but increasingly now a technical partner for the Red Bull team,” Sproule told Speedcafe.com.

“At the Nissan Motor Company, we look at the two brands – Nissan and Infiniti – and we look at how to fit them into racing.

“Really, we want to keep Infiniti focused on Formula 1 and allow Nissan, I would say, to go into a much broader range of motorsport activities around the world.

The Infiniti M37 sedan to be launched in Australia this August

The Infiniti sedan to be launched in Australia this August

“We’re really focused on Infiniti in Formula One, and then the Nissan brand across Super GT, V8 Supercars, the DeltaWing project and others.

“There is no plan to bring Nissan into Formula 1. We want to keep that for Infiniti.”

The Red Bull Racing cars remain powered by Renault engines as part of a deal that was extended until 2017 midway through last year.

Nissan holds a 15% stake in Renault, while Renault in-turn enjoys a 44.3% equity position in Nissan, leaving open a window of possibility that Infiniti branding could be attached to RBR’s engines in the future.

Infiniti is displaying its FX crossover SUV, large M sedan and midsized G37 convertible sports car at Melbourne’s Australian Grand Prix this weekend ahead of its launch into the Australian market this August.

See below for Speedcafe.com’s Australian Grand Prix Race Guide

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