Adrian Newey innovation warning given with ‘plenty more to come’ on current F1 cars

Henry Valantine
Adrian Newey holds his notebook on the Bahrain grid.

Adrian Newey and his team have built another race winner in the Red Bull RB20.

F1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds has said that Adrian Newey believes there is “plenty more to come” from the current generation of Formula 1 cars.

Newey and his designers have created another race winner in the RB20, this year’s Red Bull looking like the class of the field once again, despite the retirement of Max Verstappen over the weekend.

Pat Symonds: Adrian Newey teases ‘plenty more to come’ from current F1 cars

Having been at the heart of designing the regulations of the current era of ground effect Formula 1 cars, Symonds, himself a multiple World Championship winner at ‘Team Enstone’ in their days as Benetton and Renault, moved into his current role in 2017 as part of the regulatory side of the sport.

A common complaint among the teams when the 2022 regulations were first shown was that the rules were too ‘prescriptive’ and would not allow for design freedom in the same way as the rules did in the past, but Symonds believes the cars that rolled onto the grid that year were evidence that the variety of cars was still stark.

He also pointed to the significant changes on the 2024 Red Bull, the RB20, as a sign that the cars are still evolving, despite this being the third year of the current regulations.

While the teams may look at the regulations and believe there may be diminishing returns on their current innovations, Symonds said that, from having spoken to Red Bull’s chief technical officer, that there is still room to grow yet.

“Yeah, I think I did,” Symonds told the Beyond the Grid podcast when asked if he thought there would still continue to be design ‘revolution’ in the third year of the current regulations.

“It’s an interesting question because, of course, when we first started talking about the regulations, and you may remember that we showed the car in the USA in 2020, when we were planning to introduce in ’21, before COVID sort of delayed everything. recommends

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“One of the things we did there is we showed images of a lot of different interpretations of the cars, because a lot of people were saying, ‘Oh, well, you’re so prescriptive in the regulations, now there’s no room to develop.’ And I knew that wasn’t the case, which is why we did that.

“I was pleased when we first saw the cars in ’22. There were a lot of different solutions. But you know, to any engineering problem, there is only one solution.

“Now luckily, we never get there. We iterate towards it, and we’re seeing that iteration in certain areas, the downwash sidepods are becoming the way to do things, but when you look at something like this year’s Red Bull, interesting intakes into the sidepods, intakes above the sort of the headrest area, lots of things, I can’t say I anticipated exactly that was the way it was going.

“But I am very pleased to see there are still changes, and I know from speaking to Adrian Newey that it’s not over yet. There’s plenty more to come.”

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