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October saw the Formula One championship arrive in Japan, where fans were treated to a weekend of world-class racing at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka. Infiniti Red Bull Racing were in Tokyo before the race and teamed up with the British Embassy Tokyo for a special celebration of the UK as the home of Formula One and investment destination of choice for automobile manufacturer Nissan Infiniti.
On display was the world championship trophy, which Infiniti Red Bull Racing have just retained for a fourth consecutive year after driver Sebastian Vettel claimed victory and a fourth driver’s championship yesterday in India.
In his opening remarks at the event, Tim Hitchens, British Ambassador to Japan said:
Under the banner of the GREAT Campaign, the British Government is promoting UK strengths in motorsport and the automotive sector in key markets where we have significant trade and investment operations that also feature a Formula One race. Tonight’s event is no exception, with Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Nissan Infiniti demonstrating the strong trade and investment partnership that continues to flourish in the automotive and advanced engineering sectors, through motorsport.
Special guests Christian Horner OBE (Team Principle Infiniti Red Bull Racing), Dr Andy Palmer (Chairman, Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.) and David Coulthard (former Formula One driver), appeared on stage and spoke about Britain’s leading role in the sport of Formula One and automobile manufacturing industry.
Christian Horner led his team to its first Constructor’s title at 36, making him the youngest principal ever to do so. Speaking on why Red Bull Infiniti Racing chose to base itself in the UK, he said:
Red Bull has always been based in Milton Keynes in central England and it works tremendously well. Eight of the eleven Formula One teams are based in the UK, within a 50 mile radius of where we are. British engineering is particularly innovative within the sport. Formula One is a prototype car that changes for every single grand prix that we visit. The engineering skill within the UK is very strong and we have a lot of young graduates that are placed with the team each year. The UK offers so much and certainly is the central hub for all things Formula One.
Christian Horner also sat down with Ambassador Tim Hitchens to record a special video interview at the British Embassy Tokyo;