Huge concern for rivals as Adrian Newey confirms Christian Horner’s mystical theory

Michelle Foster
Adrian Newey inspecting the RB19 with his notebook in hand.

Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey inspecting the RB19 with his notebook in hand.

Adrian Newey may not be able to “see air” as Christian Horner put it, but “can picture it” and that’s the strength he brings to Red Bull’s ground-effect aerodynamic cars.

Welcoming a new era of cars last season, Red Bull went on a charge as they won 17 of the season’s 22 races and secured both championship titles.

Little did anyone know what awaited Formula 1 this season.

Adrian Newey: That’s perhaps one of my strengths

Turning that charge into a rampage, Red Bull have destroyed the competition with 20 wins from 21 Grands Prix including a run of 10 in a row from Miami to Italy.

With many of those victories coming with a 10-second or larger advantage, the rest of the field has been trying various tricks, including copying the RB19’s bodywork configuration, in an attempt to close the gap.

However, it has been said time and again that Red Bull’s success lie with the floor and its two venturi tunnels, and therein lies Newey’s strength.

Last season, after Red Bull claimed their first double since 2013, team boss Horner described his design guru as “the only bloke that can see air.

“He lives in the matrix. He’s been the conductor of the technical orchestra for all these years now.”

Asked by the BBC’s Andrew Benson if there was any truth to that, Newey replied: “No, of course not.”

But, he continued, “I can picture it, and if I try to be objective, that’s perhaps one of my strengths – that I can actually picture things well in my mind’s eye.”

Even more concerning for Red Bull’s rivals is that the 64-year-old says his talent is “certainly not unique – we have got several great engineers now who can also do that.” recommends

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Red Bull ‘fully expected’ rivals to close the gap

Despite the phenomenal season last year, Red Bull went into this year’s championship believing they’d face stiff opposition with rivals expected to close the gap.

Instead, it grew.

Max Verstappen beat Sergio Perez at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, the Dutchman taking the chequered flag 38 seconds ahead of the nearest non-Red Bull car, Fernando Alonso in third.

“We fully expected this year that everything would close up,” Newey declared.

But with Red Bull managing to “get the fundamentals of the car right”, the Briton says that “allowed us to take an evolutionary approach, to understand the strengths and weaknesses of last year’s car and try to address that appropriately.

“We have managed to read regulations changes well, and come back with a car we can then evolve.

“Weight loss was part of it. We never managed to get down to the weight limit last year.

“By the end of the season, we were still significantly over, so much more detail through the winter to get the weight off, and then the rest was primarily aerodynamic refinement.”

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