Sebastian Vettel, yes that Vettel, has been announced as Infiniti’s Director of Performance at the New York Auto Show. The triple Formula 1 world champion will now play an increased role in developing new Infiniti models, expanding on the relationship that started with the limited-run FX Vettel Edition.

Since Infiniti became a major sponsor of Red Bull Racing in 2011, the Japanese premium brand has roped in the young gun to promote its road cars, enhancing its public image. Now a title partner to the leading Formula 1 team, it makes a lot of sense for them to use or at least relate Vettel, arguably the most talked about F1 driver, in the development of Infiniti’s vehicle line-up.

Infiniti announced that Vettel had been central to the development of the new Q50 from its early stages, giving his feedback on chassis dynamics, performance and handling. Both he and Red Bull reserve Sebastien Buemi (don’t hold your breath on a Q50 Buemi Edition, though) were actively involved in testing and evaluating test mules in Japan, the Nürburgring in Germany, as well as the Spanish Circuit de Catalunya.

In taking the job, Vettel is emulating his fellow triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart who worked as a technical consultant for Ford after he retired from racing. Incidentally the 25-year old German had just equalled Stewart’s 27 career victories with his recent Malaysian GP win. Just a coincidence, or is Vettel playing the ultimate game of F1 one-upmanship? Vettel Grand Prix F1 team to eclipse Stewart GP, anyone?