At many times in the past, Formula 1 has often been criticised for being far too distant from the general public.
Go to any Grand Prix meeting and you will discover paddocks centres shrouded in plush exclusivity, keeping drivers within the boundaries of corporate guests and sponsors, such is the reality of modern sport dipped in commercialism.
So, it was therefore rather nice of Red Bull to parade the title winning RB7 in Milton Keynes on Saturday afternoon in front of approximately 60,000 fans.
World Champion Sebastian Vettel was in attendance, as was teammate Mark Webber, Team Principal Christian Horner and the RB7’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey.
Red Bull employee and BBC F1 presenter David Coulthard also made an appearance, as did BBC F1 lead Jake Humphrey and Red Bull stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer.
For all the criticism the team garnered from the BBC coverage – unfairly it must be added – Red Bull Racing have certainly much to embrace fans outside the competition window, as seen with recent demonstration runs in London, Austria, New York and Texas.
Also on parade in Milton Keynes were a pair of Infiniti G Convertibles, which carried the celebrated guests around the town. Infiniti also brought an M35h (the world’s fastest-accelerating hybrid) and a Red Bull branded FX30ds. There was even an appearance of Vettel’s Infiniti FX concept.
So let’s not fool ourselves here – this was an Infiniti party and the Japanese company were more than eager to display their wares, and why not? It is very easy at times to forget that Infiniti are one of Red Bull’s major partners and while a Renault engine sits in the rear of the RB7, the badge on the side of the car and rear wing proudly says “Infiniti.”
Commenting on the celebration, Infiniti’s European Communications Director, Wayne Bruce said:
“Today has been a truly fitting end to a remarkable first F1 season for Infiniti and we are delighted to have been able to support Red Bull Racing on the event.
It’s phenomenal to see so many fans of the sport attend the demonstration, and judging from the hero laps and our own car display, it appears Infiniti has come away with a lot of new fans of our own.”
Infiniti has come a long way in motorsport. Following seven difficult season in the Indy Racing League where they achieved rare success, the brand paired themselves with Red Bull Racing earlier this year to many a raised eyebrow.
Whether Infiniti’s involvement becomes more substantial in the future remains to be seen.
Regardless of Infiniti, Red Bull were powered to victory by a Renault RS27 engine – the same unit designed to propel Renault and Team Lotus this year and right now, “Renault” is still the name the general public note when they consider Red Bull.