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Newey's huge REGRET revealed as F1 genius outlines future plans

Newey's huge REGRET revealed as F1 genius outlines future plans

Newey's huge REGRET revealed as F1 genius outlines future plans

Shubham Sangodkar
Newey's huge REGRET revealed as F1 genius outlines future plans

In the dynamic world of Formula 1, one name shines as a near-constant beacon of brilliance – Adrian Newey.

Renowned for his legendary status in F1 race car design, Newey's genius goes beyond the drafting table. His journey through motorsport is a thrilling odyssey marked by an unwavering pursuit of perfection and an uncanny ability to push boundaries.

As the mastermind behind iconic racing machines, Newey has left an indelible mark on motorsport history. His approach, blending aerodynamics, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of speed, consistently places rivals in the rearview mirror.

From sketching cars as a child to steering championship-winning teams, Newey's journey is a testament to his unwavering passion and unparalleled skill. Join us as we delve into this captivating saga, where each race track twist mirrors the extraordinary turns of his career. Prepare to explore the mind of the maestro who doesn't just design race cars; he engineers the future of speed.

The early years

Adrian Newey started his F1 career with Fittipaldi

Newey, with a 40-year tenure in the F1 paddock, has solidified his reputation as a championship-winning car designer for Red Bull, McLaren-Mercedes, and Williams. Collaborating with esteemed drivers like Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Kimi Raikkonen, and Mika Hakkinen, Newey's competitive drive has been a constant throughout his career.

Appearing on the Beyond The Grid podcast, Newey recalled a childhood fascination with physics and a memorable classroom experience on friction, and despite mockery from his peers, the determination to prove himself soon emerged.

Recounting his initial days as a junior aerodynamicist for Fittipaldi, Newey told The Race: “I was fresh out of university and joined as a junior aerodynamicist, which turned out to be a senior aerodynamicist. Teams in those days were so tiny that they had no aerodynamics team.

"But when I got to the end of the first month, I had no idea what I was doing, and I got a salary for it. And I thought, ‘This is amazing. Here I am, in motor racing, a complete numpty, but I'm getting paid. This is fabulous.’ And really, I can say pretty much; I mean, there’s the odd day I haven't enjoyed, of course, but pretty much every day has been a bonus and a treat.”

The Red Bull era

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Adrian Newey has been something of a match made in heaven

Adrian Newey embarked on a transformative journey with Red Bull when the team, in its infancy, was far from Formula 1 title contention, having finished seventh in 2006.

“I felt I needed a new challenge," he told the Talking Bull podcast. "The very short answer is that I also had a little bit of unfinished business because when I first got into Formula 1, it was with a tiny team called Leyton House. We were literally 50 people, but we had some decent results in 1988 and '90; we had a dry year in ‘89. The team, I think, had lots of promise, but basically, the owner got thrown in prison and the team fell apart.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull's team principal, had expressed interest in bringing Newey on board, and the stability of Dietrich Mateschitz's involvement and the positive atmosphere in Austria convinced Newey to make the move.

Immediate and impactful, Newey's influence at Red Bull propelled the team to dominance, securing four consecutive constructors' world championships between 2010 and 2013, with another two consecutive titles in 2021 and 2022. His collaborative efforts with drivers like Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen have yielded some of the most dominant drivers' championships in F1 history.

Senna and Williams regret

Ayrton Senna worked with Adrian Newey at Williams

Newey had limited interaction with Ayrton Senna, with their first substantial conversation occurring during the Brazilian's visit to the Williams factory in 1993. Senna, known for his meticulous nature, immediately asked Newey about the wind tunnel models.

Reflecting on the 1994 season, Newey, the present Red Bull chief technical officer, expressed regret about the design of the Williams race car. He acknowledged that reverting to passive suspension affected the car's drivability, particularly on bumpy circuits like Imola. This is something Newey wishes he'd changed.

“It's my fault," he told Beyond The Grid. "I completely messed up the aerodynamics of going back to passive suspension and the much bigger ride height range that I have to cope with. It was a very, very difficult car to drive, and the bumpier the circuit, the worse that became.

"Of course, Imola’s quite a bumpy circuit. So, what he [Ayrton Senna] did with that car was quite extraordinary, and he could do that in qualifying. In Brazil, he managed to carry it but spun at the last corner near the end of the race, extracting that performance from it.”

Newey on Red Bull's dominance

Adrian Newey has overseen the creation of one of the most dominant race cars in F1 history

Newey is satisfied with Red Bull's three consecutive years of dominance in F1. Grateful for not taking a contract offered by Ferrari, he is always keen to stress his loyalty to Red Bull. In praising three-time world champion Max Verstappen, Newey credits him with fully exploiting the design of the RB19, leading to his triumphant third consecutive championship in 2023.

Reflecting on the journey of developing the RB19 car, Newey notes the extended development period compared to other teams, acknowledging a theoretical disadvantage.

“We kept developing for longer than either of those teams, so theoretically, that puts us at a disadvantage," he said. "I think what we did manage to do was get the architecture right. When RB18 first came out in Bahrain last year, the Ferrari was certainly as quick, if not quicker, in the early season. But we managed to get the fundamentals right, and that gave us a good development platform.”

Newey's next steps

Adrian Newey desires to continue developing F1 cars

Aside from his involvement with the RB20 for 2024, Adrian Newey is currently engaged in two additional projects. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, he disclosed that he now allocates only 50 per cent of his time to the Red Bull F1 car. He is committed to crafting Red Bull's inaugural road car.

Beyond that, the late Red Bull team owner, Dietrich Mateschitz, entrusted Newey with designing and constructing a submarine for his private island in Fiji, Laucala Island. While many perceive Newey to be approaching retirement, he believes that age should not be a hindrance to continued involvement in motorsports.

Shubham Sangodkar is a former F1 Aerodynamicist with a Master's in Racing Car Design specialising in F1 Aerodynamics and F1 Data Analysis. He also posts aerodynamics content on his YouTube channel, which can be found here.

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