The wacky Adrian Newey innovation he denies was ever coming to F1

Jamie Woodhouse
Adrian Newey, Red Bull

Red Bull tech guru Adrian Newey is one of the most successful individuals in F1 history.

F1 pundit Peter Windsor said he has asked design guru Adrian Newey about his apparent plans back in the Leyton House days to have the car pedals on top of each other, which he played down.

Newey has established himself as one of the greatest designers Formula 1 has ever seen, having come up with title-winning designs for Williams, McLaren and now Red Bull.

With Newey as chief technical officer, Red Bull has become the dominant force of F1’s current ground effect era, their RB19 winning a staggering 21 of the 22 grands prix in 2023, while their F1 2024 creation, the RB20, already has rivals fearing the worst for the season ahead with its radical design.

Adrian Newey denies design plan for drivers legs on top of one another

However, the RB20 would look nothing like radical compared to an idea which Windsor had heard Newey was considering putting into practice at Leyton House, where he had started his F1 career under their previous identity of March.

Windsor understood that had the team not gone bust after the 1991 season, then Newey was contemplating attempting to get the nose of the next Leyton House challenger even narrower by having the pedals and, therefore driver’s legs, on top of, rather than to the side of each other.

Windsor added that while Newey brushed this off when he brought it up with him, he suspects there is truth to the tale.

“Adrian Newey [was] supposedly contemplating that the next Leyton House, had the team not gone bust, would have had the drivers legs on the top of one another to have an even narrower nose to the car,” said Windsor in a YouTube livestream.

“Accelerator on the top, brake down below it.

“But I asked Adrian about that and he was sort of, ‘Oh, no’. I suspect he probably did want to do that.”

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That being said, Windsor says it is for the best that Newey never brought such a pedal arrangement into F1, as he doubts drivers would have been rushing to sign on the dotted line to try it out.

“But anyway, I don’t think he would have found any drivers happy with that situation,” Windsor concluded.

Newey-designed Formula 1 cars have won a total of 13 Drivers’ and 12 Constructors’ titles, with the RB20 widely expected to add to that staggering tally.

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