The dominance of Sebastian Vettel in Formula 1 has had many people suggesting the sport has become boring. That it’s turning fans away from the category. The fact Vettel and his team have won the two biggest prizes in the sport for four consecutive years helps to support this claim.
As bad as that might be for the average F1 punter, if it is bad at all, you’d reckon team sponsors would be loving all the attention. Apparently not. Arriving late to the Red Bull gravy train—first as ordinary sponsor in 2011, then as title sponsor at the end of last year—Infiniti has always been an odd and slightly misleading fit with F1’s premier team, given Renault builds the engines. And now they’re actually having a whinge that Vettel’s success is bad for their sponsorship.
Yes, really. Here, look:
“It’s a fact that 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. Wrapping up the championship with four races to run is maybe not good news for us from that perspective.”
They’re the words of Andy Palmer, Infiniti’s Executive Vice President, and he may as well add moron to his otherwise impressive job title. Perhaps he’d prefer INFINITI Red Bull Racing to be fighting with Williams as the best former high achievers in the field scrapping over tenth place and whatever dignity that might offer.
A sponsor complaining that the team they back is too successful? Really, get a grip Andy. Proving his own flaws Palmer adds they will be leeching off Red Bull and Renault successes further by creating more special editions carrying Vettel’s name. Authentically, too he insists.
“The beauty of Seb is that he won’t get involved in any project that isn’t utterly authentic,” said Palmer. “So he turns up at our test days and puts in the hard work. It’s a genuine benefit, and we have plans to use his expertise on more models bearing his name. But the point is we want to do them properly, and that means they are inevitably a couple of years down the line in the product cycle.”
“Utterly authentic.” Do you reckon he had a straight face when he said that?
[Source: Autosport | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]