Breaking Limits

Infiniti Red Bull just warmed up their engines

Two days before April breezed in, there was a tempest of roaring engines and adrenaline brewing at the Malaysian Grand Prix. But the thunder of engines and clouds of exhaust at the Sepang circuit couldn’t catch up with the lightning speed of the racecars. EZ leaps into the fray for a taste of the action-packed pit lane with Infiniti Red Bull.

Infiniti goes beyond its recognition as crafter of innovative luxury cars, carrying its legacy of cutting-edge engineering into the fray at Formula One. The luxury carmaker joins forces with Red Bull Racing, the winning team of the 2013 World Constructors’ Championship, to form Team Infiniti Red Bull. Together, they battle against other motorsport giants Ferrari and Mercedes in a fight for the podium.

New rules beckoned the new season with a storm, sending all teams plunging into the unknown with a fresh challenge: reduce fuel consumption by almost 40 percent without concessions on speed and power. What sounded like an impossible feat was made reality, and Infiniti Red Bull Racing can lay claim to that with the latest Red Bull RB10. Born of form and function, the trusty steed brought Sebastian Vettel to the podium at Sepang with a third-place win. The man behind the steering wheel has nothing but accolades for the lean mean machine.

‘It’s good to see that the car is quick,’ Sebastian acknowledged, ‘The guys are pushing back in the factory – it’s been a massive job from them.’ And no wonder, for every inch of Infiniti Red Bull’s RB10 is a technological breakthrough in itself. Like a heart is to the human body, at its core is the engine which treads a delicate balance between being lightweight, compact yet viciously strong. Infiniti sponsors the vital organ that mobilizes the mean machine: the new electrified V6 turbo that takes the cake for being the most stressed component of the car. Comprising of up to six separate elements, it is so complex in itself that engineers of Infiniti Red Bull don’t call it an engine but a power unit instead.

The sleek combustion engine of the V6 is paired with Energy Recovery Systems (ERS) that bump up the mileage. The ERS absorb energy lost through heat and braking, and translate that energy into driving the turbo even after braking. This is a crucial necessity that drastically downsizes fuel  consumption to comply with race regulations. Yet, in no way does this feature detract from the power and speed of Infiniti Red Bull’s RB10. The power unit is more than capable of pumping out 750 hp per litre of fuel, which could rip the skin off your face if you are flying at full speed without a visor! With that much horsepower, the V6 is righteously as loud as a stampede of galloping horses as it tears up the track with a mighty roar.

However, Infiniti Red Bull cannot afford to rest on their laurels after a podium win because it’s always a game of playing catch-up with the Goliaths. ‘We knew that we had some ground to catch up to the Mercedes, so to finish as close as Sebastian did today was a really positive performance and, while we know we’ve got a lot of work to do, we can begin to realize the scale of our challenge,’ said Christian Horner, Team Principal of Infiniti Red Bull Racing. Vettel, too, shared similar sentiments with him, saying, ‘We still have a lot of work to do with the car, but it was encouraging to see that our pace was better than expected.’ Nevertheless, Horner and the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team agree that the RB10’s win at the Malaysian Grand Prix was ‘an incredible performance.’

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