Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri
Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Director at Red Bull Racing, has squashed all the rumours of leaving Red Bull and Formula One, by signing on with Red Bull for another few years, rumoured to go all the way into 2026 when F1 introduces new power units.
2026 is an important year for Red Bull Racing, as Christian Horner believes the Austrian outfit may well be producing their own engines in full, as they currently use Honda engines with some adjustments, re-badging it to “Red Bull Powertrains”. Adrian Newey seems to want to stay on at Red Bull, at least until this point.
This is absolutely great news for the world of Formula One, and particularly Red Bull Racing. Adrian Newey has designed cars that have won 11 Constructors’ Championships in F1, and 12 Drivers’ Championships. Newey is a talent that is truly once in a lifetime, one we rarely see in Motorsport to this elite level.
Newey was one of the key designers of Williams’ 1992 active suspension, which was so dominant that it convinced the Brazilian Legend, Ayrton Senna, to join Williams for 1994.
Newey designed five constructors-winning Williams cars between 1992-1997, and it is safe to say that the Williams team have not found much success in the years since his departure. Newey was able to help revolutionise the Williams team, and later joined McLaren for 1998, immediately designing a championship-winning car after just one season with the team.
It should never be downplayed as to just how impressive that is, as he would have had to learn the entire philosophy and structure of a new team, and then also a new car as well. This is yet another example of his excellence and prowess.
Of course, these days we all know Adrian Newey for his assistance in forming the powerhouse that is, Red Bull Racing. In the early days of the team, this was seen as a major risk for somebody of Newey’s capabilities, because Red Bull was seen more as a party team on the grid, who didn’t take it very seriously. However, in 2009 everything changed. Despite Jenson Button and Brawn GP winning the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships, Red Bull were a serious threat towards the end of that season, and it was only the beginning of things to come.
The very next season, Red Bull had arguably the best car. We say “arguably” because the championship went down all the way to Abu Dhabi, the finale - as Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton all in with a shot at the Championship. Vettel went on to win that race, and subsequently the World Championship, and Red Bull won the Constructors Championship for the first time ever, with Christian Horner, Sebastian Vettel and Adrian Newey having produced a fearsome trio, mirroring that of Michael Schumacher, Jean Todt and Ross Brawn during Ferrari’s dominant era in the early 2000s.
Red Bull was struggling in the mid 2010’s, having lost Vettel to Ferrari, and getting the Turbo Hybrid engine concept not quite right. The other factor for Red Bull’s struggles was also the Renault Power Unit, which seemed to fail every other race.
But after Red Bull parted ways with Renault for the 2019 season, work began on producing another championship-worthy car for their new main driver, Max Verstappen. In 2021, Adrian Newey designed the car which went on to give Verstappen his first World Championship, and whilst it might not have been the greatest car on the grid, as it didn’t quite win the Constructors’ Championship, it was definitely a car worthy of being pretty dominant at certain circuits.
But Newey and Red Bull blew everyone out of the water for 2022, with Verstappen winning 15 Grands Prix, and Sergio Perez managing to get 2 as well. Red Bull managed to win 17 out of the 22 Races that year.
In 2023, Red Bull so far have won every single race they’ve competed in, with Verstappen winning the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Australian Grand Prix. Sergio Perez has also already matched his 2022 win rate, already winning two races within the first four rounds. He won in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, and even won the Azerbaijan Sprint Race too.
Adrian Newey has been a pivotal figure in Formula One and the Motorsport world as a whole, and seems to be just as motivated as ever, to win more and more championships with Red Bull Racing.
One last thing - if you haven’t already, then please go and read Adrian Newey’s book “How To Build a Car: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Formula 1 Designer”. It’s an excellent book which really gives us a perspective that isn’t often shared. We always get documentaries on the drivers, perhaps the teams even - but not often the people behind the scenes. This book provides that, and much more!
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