Adrian Newey: The ‘Einstein’ of F1 who ‘should be knighted’

Henry Valantine
Adrian Newey on the grid in Singapore.

Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey surveys the grid.

Adrian Newey has been hailed by former Red Bull drivers as a key influence behind the team’s continued success after their latest Constructors’ Championship was sealed.

The RB19 is the 12th car to have won the teams’ title in the legendary designer’s illustrious career, and the current trajectory it is on could put it among the most successful in the sport’s history.

But given that he has no designs on slowing down his career just yet, Newey has come in for special praise from those who have worked with him at the team.

Genius of Adrian Newey lauded by former Red Bull drivers

With Red Bull having been crowned Constructors’ Champions again in Japan, spoke to Red Bull drivers of years gone by to assess just how far the team has grown in their time in the sport.

With Newey and team principal Christian Horner having been at the helm throughout, that consistency at the top has played no small part in their success.

And for the brain behind their cars’ designs, there has been some special praise reserved.

Former test and reserve driver Robert Doornbos said: “Adrian is like the Einstein of F1. I really understood his brain during a test day when we were trying something new on the car.

“At one stage, he asked me if I thought it would be possible to drive an F1 car with two feet on top of each other, with the brake on the bottom and the throttle on top of the brake, so the car could be sleeker and slicker on the front end.

“I was like, ‘Physically that’s not possible.’ He looked at me and wrote something down. He said, ‘I want to change something.’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘It’s between the steering wheel and the engine.’ I said, ‘That’s me!’

“Basically, if you give him a free hand, he wants to have a robot inside the car or something, so the balance of the human factor and him thinking only in numbers and data is quite extraordinary to work with. He pushes the boundaries.” recommends

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Long-serving race driver Mark Webber had plenty of chances to see Newey work behind the scenes, and he believes he should receive the UK’s highest honour for what he has achieved in his career.

“Some of the ideas he’d bring up just in passing, I was like, ‘Where’s he off to with that?’ and sure enough three months later, it’s at the racetrack in a different sort of guise,” the Australian explained.

“He wants to understand, be extremely, extremely open and honest with what the issues are and tackle those head on. He continues to understand that yesterday was never good enough, and that’s what I loved about him.

“When we started to have early successes, a lot of one-twos, I think that was great for Christian too, because Christian obviously hadn’t experienced that, and Helmut hadn’t experienced that, but Adrian had.

“Adrian was sort of working out, ‘Well, hang on, our pit stops are still s**t, let’s work on those.’ There were always other layers and it was like, ‘Holy hell, when’s this guy going to finish?’

“It was just great to have him as the technical spine of the whole department. Of course, he has got other people around him, and he’s a tremendous listener – you don’t have the career that Adrian’s had if an individual like him doesn’t listen.

“I love how understated he is, I love how immensely humble he is. He should be knighted, end of. It’s not even a discussion in my book.”

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