Adrian Newey declared F1’s ‘great star’ over dominant Max Verstappen

Michelle Foster
Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates with Adrian Newey at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2022.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates with Adrian Newey at the Hungarian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen may be the one standing on the top step of the podium week in and week out, but former Red Bull junior Jaime Alguersuari believes Red Bull’s real star is their design guru Adrian Newey.

This year’s championship, the second using ground effect aerodynamic cars, has seen Newey’s RB19 run riot over its rivals with the team racing to 10 wins on the trot and rivals fearing a complete 22-0 whitewash come Abu Dhabi.

Such is the team’s lead in the Constructors’ Championship that Red Bull have more than double second-placed Mercedes’ points, 411 to 203, while Max Verstappen is 99 points clear of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

‘Adrian Newey is still making such perfect cars’

It’s the Dutchman who has led Red Bull’s charge with eight wins in ten races while his superiority in the RB19 has meant in the two races he didn’t win, he was still second.

But it’s not Verstappen who deserves the plaudits says former Red Bull junior Alguersuari.

“It’s Newey,” he said in an interview with Spanish daily AS. “It’s incredible that this brilliant man is still making such perfect cars.”

However, he was quick to add that Red Bull’s success isn’t based entirely on one man, it’s a team effort that has the Milton Keynes squad cruising towards their third successive Drivers’ title and their second double, while this weekend in Hungary they could break McLaren’s 1988 record for the most wins in a row as they chase number 12.

“In any case I would say that it’s not just him, but the team, in all its areas,” the 33-year-old added. “Red Bull is the best team in the history of Formula 1 because they do not make mistakes and there are no cracks in their structure and approaches.

“Everything fits. They never make mistakes. They nail the strategies, the tyre changes… the Red Bull mechanics are also the best in the paddock. Building a winning team is essential. It’s not just about making a great car.”

It does help though, to have a driver of Verstappen’s calibre leading the charge.

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Speaking about the team’s dominance, the former driver said: “This already happened at the time with Schumacher and with Vettel and Hamilton later. Here the one with the best car wins and it will always be like that. What also happens is that the best car is usually driven by the best driver.

Which begs the question, is Verstappen a better driver than the likes of Lewis Hamilton or even Fernando Alonso?

“It’s difficult to say that but I repeat that the best driver usually drives the most dominant car because everything is going very well, the motivation is higher, things work out on their own, the confidence is enormous… that’s what’s happening with Max in this moment. Everything flows easy.”

But there is a glimmer of hope for Red Bull’s rivals with Alguersuari adamant “next year things will be different. The cost cap and the limitation of hours in the wind tunnel will affect them. It won’t be that easy for them.

“I don’t know if they will win again next year, but if they do, it won’t be as easy as this year, that’s for sure.”

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