Typically when an automaker gets involved with a Formula One team, it picks one of its divisions to promote through the partnership. You won't see Smart branding on a Mercedes AMG F1 car, for example, or Proton on a Lotus. Scuderia Ferrari does put the Fiat logo on its F1 cars, but when it comes to Red Bull Racing – the team that has dominated grand prix racing the past couple of years – the entire Renault-Nissan Alliance has been getting on board.
The cars Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber drive are, of course, powered by Renault engines. And recently the Infiniti brand started sponsoring both the team and its star driver, slapping its cleft oval badge on the race cars and putting the champ's name on a hot-rod crossover. Now Nissan is getting in on the action by providing the team with a whole fleet of vans to get itself around from race to race.
The deal was announced during the Canadian Grand Prix, but was apparently photographed at the Catalunya circuit in Spain. All told, Nissan has furnished Red Bull with over 30 vehicles, including the NV200 and NV400 vans pictured at the margins above. Considering that the Mercedes team probably has all the Sprinter vans it could ever need and Ferrari all the Fiat Ducatos, it seems only fair.
Here is the official press release:
NISSAN BECOMES OFFICIAL GLOBAL SUPPLIER FOR RED BULL RACING F1 TEAM |
- Nissan becomes official van supplier to the Red Bull F1 Racing team for 2012
- Team to use light commercial fleet including the Nissan NV200 and NV400
Continuing the partnership created last season between Red Bull Racing Formula One and Infiniti, the contract to supply Red Bull Racing with Nissan Light Commercial Vehicles and related services has been extended for the 2012 season.
To support the transportation needs of Red Bull Racing at their factory in Milton Keynes and for all operations throughout the 2012 Formula One season, Nissan will supply a fleet of over 30 vehicles, including the award-winning Nissan NV200 and the Nissan NV400.
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, commented: "Within such a highly pressured and challenging environment as Formula One, we need reliable partners taking care of all our versatile transportation needs all over the world. With the long standing relationship we have had with Infiniti and Nissan we looked to Nissan for its support with supplying our light commercial vehicle fleet and we are looking forward to working with them."
Christian continues: "Extensive travel is part and parcel of Formula One, and our material, staff and guest transportation are an essential part of our successful operations. The Nissan NV200 and NV400 will be the perfect vehicles for us and will be vital in supporting the team."
James Douglas, corporate sales director, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd commented: "It is a great honour to be chosen as an official supplier for the F1 Red Bull team. We are looking forward to providing a helping hand to the team throughout the 2012 season."