Infiniti looks to be further strengthening its presence in Formula One with the appointment of Tommaso Volpe as its new F1 global director. Effective September 1, Volpe will be responsible for Infiniti’s entire activities concerning the sport, namely, its title sponsorship of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team.
Volpe was previously with Lotus Cars and was influential in getting the Lotus name back in F1 as well as helping to establish the British automaker’s line of retail stores. He will be based at Infiniti’s headquarters in Hong Kong and report to the automaker's global marketing boss Vincent Gillet.
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“We are pleased to have Tommaso as part of the Infiniti team,” Gillet said in a statement. “With Tommaso’s strong background and experience in sports cars and sponsorship activation, we look forward to further strengthening our collaboration with Infiniti Red Bull Racing in all aspects of our business."
Infiniti signed on as title sponsor of the Red Bull squad at the end of the 2012 season. Since then the automaker has done little to market its link with the successful team, though Volpe’s appointment is a sure sign that will be changing very soon.
Although the 2014 season has been dominated by Mercedes AMG, the last two races have been won by Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, propelling the Infiniti name back into the headlines.
Infiniti is also believed to be close to announcing production of its F1-inspired Q50 Eau Rouge, whose development is being aided by Red Bull’s other driver Sebastian Vettel (the four-time world champion is currently Infiniti’s director of performance).