Less than a day after claiming second place in the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix, Formula One Triple World Champion Sebastian Vettel was back on track at the Paul Ricard Circuit in his role as Director of Performance for Infiniti.
The Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver spent the day evaluating the latest Infiniti road cars and their competitors, accompanied by experts from Infiniti’s European Dynamic Performance Team based at the company’s development centers in Bonn, Germany and Barcelona, Spain.
Infiniti’s main objective is to fully align the engineers’ expectations of what makes a great car with those of Vettel. Their joint development work on future Infiniti road cars will see the 2013 championship leader taking an active role in product testing and providing driving and performance input at various points this year and beyond.
The engineers had the chance to hear directly from the Formula One World Champion about his views on handling, steering feel and response, vehicle agility and ride comfort.
“As new Infiniti cars are created, it is really important for us to develop them with their own consistent driving style, so it has been really useful to be able to drive so many cars hard and back-to-back on the same track,” said Vettel. “Similar to Formula One cars, it’s interesting to feel how different cars are configured for steering response and braking as well as driver assistance features like ESP and Traction Control. Getting these things right is what makes a good car great.”
Sebastian Vettel was announced as Director of Performance for Infiniti at the 2013 New York International Auto Show in April.
This role extends and enhances Vettel’s relationship with the premium automotive brand which formally began in 2011. In this capacity, Vettel already has played a crucial role in developing Infiniti’s current vehicle line-up, starting with the exclusive Infiniti FX Vettel Edition and its latest model, the all-new Infiniti Q50.
For the all-new Infiniti Q50, Vettel spent time with Infiniti engineers in Japan at an early stage in the development process to provide them with his world-class chassis dynamics, performance and handling feedback.