Adrian Newey has a renewed skip in his step since the introduction of the new 2017 technical regulation changes, that are set to switch the focus back towards aerodynamics, as opposed to the power unit dominant regulations of the last few years, that made the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team such a force.
Having lost his passion for all things F1 as a result of those changes, Newey took a back seat, reducing his involvement with the F1 team, and instead choosing to concentrate on other projects within Red Bull Technology, that would get his creative juices flowing.
Having helped the likes of Williams and McLaren to world championship titles as well as putting Red Bull Racing well and truly on the map, the 58-year-old’s lack of input was a huge loss to the team, and the sport.
Red Bull and Newey have always been known for their flawless aerodynamic design and genius, so the new rules should most definitely play to the strengths of the Milton Keynes based squad, and Team Principal Christian Horner has noticed a boost in the Chief Technical Officers enthusiasm ahead of the new season, as he explained to racer.com recently.
“I think everybody has got their tail up at the factory. This has been a great season for us; we go into the winter off the back of a competitive campaign, we won two races, we’ve had 16 or so podiums, pole position on merit in Monte Carlo and some great performances from both of our drivers.
“Adrian obviously became a bit stale with Formula 1, he’s splitting his time between our Aston Martin project and Formula 1 and for sure he’s feeling more invigorated and enthusiastic. Of course the new regulations pose a challenge to all technical departments. I think we’ve got a strong group and hopefully they can do a good job.”
The new rules hope to make cars up to five seconds a lap faster than they are currently, with wider tyres also being implemented to boost performance. Horner also believes the 2017 machines will be easier on the eye too, if their new Red Bull model is anything to go by.
“It looks great. Obviously we were involved very heavily, it was through the Strategy Group that I tabled the philosophy for this direction. It’s great that it has been adopted and I think the cars will look good as a result.
“They’re difficult things, targets, because you don’t know what anybody else is doing. So whatever you’re doing, you try to do it better.”
With Newey well and truly back on board, Red Bull have a strong chance of challenging for the title this season, especially if the rumours regarding the performance of the new concept Renault engine are to be believed.