Adrian Newey’s ‘huge regret’ revealed as Sebastian Vettel 2024 talks take place – F1 news round-up

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton pictured with four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel at Suzuka.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton pictured with four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel at Suzuka.

It has been another busy day in the world of Formula 1, so it is time to bring you up speed with the major talking points.

Red Bull’s design guru Adrian Newey has revealed his “huge regret” from the year Ayrton Senna was tragically killed when at Williams with Newey, while another familiar multi-champion of Newey’s career, Sebastian Vettel, is being eyed-up for a racing return.

Let us then head into the thick of the action…

Adrian Newey “completely messed up” on Williams 1994 suspension

That season in Formula 1 will always be tied to the tragedy of Senna’s death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, while at the wheel of the Newey-designed Williams.

And almost 30 years on from that dark weekend, Newey revealed that while Senna had a “quite extraordinary” control of the FW16, it was an “aerodynamically unstable” challenger as Newey to his mind struggled to master the switch from active back to passive suspension that year.

“The ‘94 cars, one of my huge regrets, regardless of what was the cause of the accident at Imola, the one thing you could definitely say about the car is it was aerodynamically unstable,” Newey admitted on the Beyond the Grid podcast.

“We’d had two years with active suspension and, it’s my fault, I completely messed up the aerodynamics of going back to passive suspension and the much bigger ride height range that that has to cope with.”

Read more: Adrian Newey opens up on ‘huge regret’ after death of Ayrton Senna

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Sebastian Vettel heading for racing return?

Vettel recently has left the door open to a future Formula 1 return, but could his more immediate future be in the World Endurance Championship?

Jota team principal Sam Hignett has confirmed the rumours that he is in talks with Vettel over a possible drive.

“We are speaking to Seb, there are discussions, but nothing is done,” he told Motorsport.com. “There isn’t any kind of contract signed and he certainly hasn’t tested one of our cars.”

Read more: Team boss confirms ‘we are speaking’ to Sebastian Vettel

Nyck de Vries finds new racing home

One ex-Formula 1 racer who has secured a move is De Vries, who having been axed by Red Bull after just 10 rounds of F1 2023 spent with their junior team AlphaTauri, will return to a familiar stomping ground.

De Vries won the Formula E title with Mercedes in 2021, and now he will head back to the series as a Mahindra driver.

“It’s really exciting to be joining such a major automotive manufacturer as Mahindra, and to represent them in Formula E,” De Vries said.

Read more: Nyck de Vries signs 2024 contract as his motorsport future is decided

Did Mercedes drivers show “weakness” in Suzuka radio antics?

Team radio was extensively used by both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell during the Japanese Grand Prix in an eventful race for the pair.

After several on-track battles, with Russell’s look on Hamilton at Spoon particularly nerve-wracking for the Mercedes team, Russell was left asking “Who do we want to fight here? Each other or the others?”

Later in the race Russell had to be told twice to concede his position to Hamilton, with ex-Bridgestone engineer Kees van der Grint believing that the radio exchanges were a “sign of weakness” with both drivers asking for help.

“It’s actually a sign of weakness,” Motorsport.com quotes Van der Grint as having told In de Slipstream.

“They are calling on others for help.”

Read more: Mercedes team-mate radio messages ‘actually a sign of weakness’

Adidas remain tight-lipped on Red Bull F1 links

Change is afoot at Red Bull’s junior team for F1 2024, with the AlphaTauri branding set to bow out, plus the arrival of new team boss Laurent Mekies and strengthening of ties with the main Red Bull squad.

And after speculation that Hugo Boss could take over title sponsorship of the team, Adidas’ name has since entered the fray, rumours which the brand has failed to quash.

“As a matter of principle, we do not participate in speculation,” an Adidas spokesperson told DPA news agency in response to the chatter.

Read more: Huge potential Red Bull junior team title sponsor tight-lipped on rumours

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