After ignoring team orders, igniting a feud with Mark Webber and being widely criticised... Sebastian Vettel wins a promotion

Red Bull's title sponsor make reigning world champion director of performance

Sebastian Vettel may be in the spotlight this week for all the wrong reasons, but Red Bull's title sponsor have had no qualms in giving him a promotion.

On the opening day of the New York International Auto Show, Infiniti has confirmed the three-times Formula One world champion is to become their director of performance.

Vettel has already played a key role in helping to develop two of the manufacturer's cars, the FX Vettel Edition and the Q50.

With regard to the Q50, Vettel spent time with Infiniti engineers in Japan, before testing and providing feedback on the early models.

This latest announcement strengthens his relationship with Infiniti, with whom he will become more intensely involved with development of future vehicles.

Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen said: "Sebastian's talent and ability behind the wheel is unquestionable and his role in developing Infiniti vehicles has already proven invaluable.

"How many premium automotive brands can honestly say its vehicles have been developed alongside a triple world champion?

"As our technical collaboration with Red Bull Racing continues to deepen, so does our relationship with Sebastian who will be crucial to the development of our future vehicle line-up."

Vettel has been lambasted this week for disregarding team orders that allowed him to win the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.

But in light of his increased role with Infiniti, he said: "Helping to develop the Q50 was a very different type of driving duty for me.

"But I approached it in exactly the same way as I do my Formula One car, and I'm now looking forward to working closely with them in developing more of their road cars into the future."