Sebastian Vettel drives the Infiniti G37 – Click above for high-res image gallery, click here to watch video

What's the point in an automaker pouring millions into an F1 team if it can't leverage a little star power? In Infiniti's case, it's not even running its own F1 team or even supplying engines. Instead, it's sponsoring the Red Bull Racing outfit that's out there defending both its titles. (That said, we wouldn't be surprised if Infiniti's involvement turned into an engine rebranding initiative for next season.)

As any marketing whiz could tell you, sponsorship is only worth as much as you promote it. So while Red Bull's world champion Sebastian Vettel was in Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, he took a couple of Infiniti's finest for a spin.

Vettel being Vettel, he didn't just drive around the block: he took to the Shanghai International Circuit. (Or, at least an Autocross setup on the circuit's back lot.) And while he wasn't about to set any lap records behind the wheel of the G37 sedan or FX50 crossover, he seemed to enjoy the experience, hanging the G37's tail out making some smoke for the crowd. Follow the jump to watch the video footage and check out the still shots in the gallery below.



[Source: Infiniti]



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FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPION SEBASTIAN VETTEL PUTS INFINITI ROAD CARS THROUGH THEIR PACES AHEAD OF THE CHINESE GRAND PRIX

Shanghai, China – April 14th, 2011: Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel started his Chinese Grand Prix weekend in style today by test driving two high performance Infiniti cars around a test track in Shanghai.

Fresh from his dominant win in last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, the 23 year-old Red Bull Racing driver took to the wheel of a 5.0-litre V8 Infiniti FX50 followed by a 3.7-lite V6 Infiniti G37 and amazed onlookers by lapping the circuit at high speed and demonstrating the true handling capabilities of these luxury road cars.

After the driving session, Sebastian visited an Infiniti Center in Shanghai where he met fans and senior Infiniti executives, plus toured the showroom to take a closer look at the full Infiniti range.

Commenting on his experience, Sebastian Vettel said: "It was great fun to drive these Infiniti cars today. I was impressed; they have good handling and plenty of power – which is always a good mix – it was fun out on the track. I have been driving an FX50 myself recently, they're nice cars and it's great that more dealerships are opening in China."

From the 2011 season, Infiniti is a major partner of the Red Bull Racing team and features prominently on the race-winning RB7 driven by Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      Toneron
      • 3 Years Ago
      This new logon sucks
      DC
      • 3 Years Ago
      I watched the video 3 times. Where does he drive the G37?
      another Dan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Compared to the RB7 most everything must seem like an understeering PIG.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Visnick
        • 3 Years Ago
        They're not Altimas for gods sake, they are the front-mid platform which is shared with the Z and Murano. While they might be sharing a platform the bodywork is different and in the case of the G/Z the frame is stretched on the Infiniti, most other manufactures platform sharing involve only different fascias and trim. I think Nissan does a good job with the Infiniti line.
          valiiance
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Visnick
          The Z is not a FWD platform. It is the FM platform which is front engine/rear wheel drive. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_FM_platform
        jsndacruz
        • 3 Years Ago
        Every company badge engineers -- GM and Ford were awful at it to the point their cars were indistinguishable from one another, and were shared across multiple brand name. Nissan and Infiniti have very few cars that could be mistaken from one another -- the 370Z/G37 Coupe, the Murano/FX, and the Armada/QX. But even these pairs have notable differences in terms of power output, drivetrain options, and styling.
      HollyWood Hogan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ghey article, ghey car, ghey brand. Its a rebadged Nissan Skyline. Who cares about this?
      longducdong
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sorry, Infiniti, all the sliding around in the world doesnt make your cars sporty. At all. I know the masses will buy into your BS, but those in-the-know laugh.
        wicketr
        • 3 Years Ago
        @longducdong
        Let me guess. You've never driven one. At least one of the newer ones in the last couple years. The FX50 is extremely sporty for a crossover. Much less an SUV. The only thing more sporty in that vehicle type would probably be the Porche.
          longducdong
          • 3 Years Ago
          @wicketr
          Dude, youre pointing out a "sporty" crossover/SUV. Exactly my point. Conversation over.
          longducdong
          • 3 Years Ago
          @wicketr
          Dude, youre pointing out a "sporty" crossover/SUV. Exactly my point. Conversation over.
          mikoprivat
          • 3 Years Ago
          @wicketr
          exactly, I've never driven one either and you know why??? because I would not be caught "dead" in a crap like this. I think the other commentator was correct: it's a JOKE
        HollyWood Hogan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @longducdong
        Exactly, get a Maxima and save yourself the trouble. And it looks better than any Infiinty rebadge
      RSS007
      • 3 Years Ago
      Boring video. Vettel is only good if he gets pole position and if the strategy works for him. RBR uses a Renault engine, which owns most of Infiniti through Nissan. That's like Mercedes being sponsored by Smart. Oh well. who cares.
      Toneron
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like a fat pig! LOL
      mechatricity
      • 3 Years Ago
      heh. man he was bored.
      zanarditypes
      • 3 Years Ago
      More than eager to help their marketing garbage with that title, huh? Try, "Vettel takes Infiniti for a spin in a Chinese parking lot."
      Mundotaku
      • 3 Years Ago
      So, now they are not just a "beverage company" anymore? XD
      Bradley Nordstrom
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sebastian Vettel probably had a lot of fun in that infinity.
        I_see_dead_pickles
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bradley Nordstrom
        Bradley. You mean Vettel was driving an Infiniti and playing around with an Infinity stereo too?
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