Adrian Newey, the aero-guru behind multiple championship winning Formula One cars, is set to increase his involvement in the development of this year’s Red Bull Racing RB13 as the team continue to struggle in 2017.
This season’s regulation changes were expected to see Red Bull emerge as strong title contenders but issues with windtunnel correlation and a design concept that lacks downforce has seen the Milton Keynes based team struggle to match the pace of this year’s front runners.
Newey, the man responsible for the design of all seven race-winning Red Bulls, has wound down his involvement recently in order to concentrate on other projects such as the America’s Cup and the development of the Aston Martin hypercar.
When it became clear that the RB13 lacked the pace of the cars from Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari during pre-season testing however, Newey increased his involvement with the team. With recent upgrades failing to elevate Red Bull up the grid the 58-year old has become a vital element within the team once again.
When speaking of Newey’s increased involvement, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Autosport: “He has just been listening very carefully to what the drivers have been having to say and it is a bit like a trip to the doctors.
“He has been very keen to understand what the drivers’ feedback and comments are, and I am sure he will be looking to evolve this package accordingly.
“[Over the winter] he has been involved 50% of the time in the background of this car, but since the Barcelona test he has been very involved. I think that will continue for the time being.”
Speaking of Newey’s recent projects away from Formula One, Horner added: “He hasn’t wound them [the duties] down but, within a cycle, his element is now done or is coming to a conclusion,
“It goes to the design world now. Obviously there are other iterations that he will be looking at later in the year, but for now the vast majority of [his efforts] have been heavily focused on F1.”
Newey himself has stated that he no longer wishes to be a part of Formula One full time but the processes he put in place within the team continue, allowing Newey to still be an integral part of the outfit.
“He has obviously been involved,” added Horner.
“He has sat in the meetings weekly, he has been very involved in this development of the car and the concept of this car.
“The design group is designed to accommodate the way that Adrian works in a fairly unique manner.”