Adrian Newey has revealed he turned down the chance to work on a spacecraft, admitting it would have been a “fascinating” venture having conquered the F1 world with Red Bull.
Newey stands as one of the most successful individuals in grand prix history, having won 12 Constructors’ and 13 Drivers’ World Championships with cars designed for the likes of Red Bull, McLaren and Williams.
The Red Bull RB19 of 2023 is arguably Newey’s greatest creation of all, winning all but one of the 22 races last season in the hands of three-time World Champion Max Verstappen (19 victories) and Sergio Perez (two).
Adrian Newey: Rocketman?
Newey has demonstrated a propensity to explore horizons away from F1 in recent years, developing the Valkyrie hypercar for Aston Martin during the marque’s sponsorship arrangement of Red Bull and also being involved in Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup assault.
The space race remains one of the few Newey has yet to win, with the Red Bull tech guru revealing he was once approached by an American organisation to design a rocket.
Rather than going to infinity and beyond, however, Newey admitted he much prefers the challenge presented by motorsport having given Red Bull their title-winning wings.
Put to him that a Newey-designed spacecraft would be fun, he told the official Top Gear website: “Dangerous, I think.
“There is a requirement for them to come back in one piece.
“Actually, an American company did ring me up – about 10 years ago now – to ask if I would be interested in joining them to work on a spacecraft.
“It would be fascinating, and the space race in the ’60s must have been incredibly stimulating.
“But I find motor racing more fascinating. There’s a tremendous pace of development and involvement in motor racing. I like that.”
Newey’s comments come after he admitted that it was a “complete surprise” that Red Bull were so dominant in 2023, confessing that he expected the team’s advantage to be reduced in the second season of F1’s ground effect rules.
He said: “For the ’22 season we had the biggest regulation change on the chassis side since 1983, in terms of going back to venturi cars.
“We thought as we headed into the second year, with almost no regulation change over the winter and us running what is in effect an evolution car, that our advantage would be diminished, if not eradicated.
“Clearly, that’s not how it’s panned out.”