Adrian Newey details potential chink in Red Bull armour in unbeaten season pursuit

Sam Cooper
Adrian Newey inspecting the RB19 with his notebook in hand.

Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey inspecting the RB19 with his notebook in hand.

Adrian Newey has admitted it is possible Red Bull’s lack of development for the rest of 2023 could allow their rivals to break their unbeaten run.

Red Bull are 59% of the way to an unbeaten season having not lost a race since the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Their winning run of 14 races post-Zandvoort is a Formula 1 record and right now, it does not look as if anyone will catch them.

But as their mind turns to 2024, their lack of upgrades for the rest of the year could leave the door open to their competitors.

Red Bull development plans could leave team vulnerable to rivals

It is the point of the season where many teams will abandon their development plans for the 2023 car and instead focus on the following season, hoping a head start will bring them better fortune.

For some like Williams, they have already accepted their low position in the standings and feel it is more beneficial to focus on 2024 but Red Bull are in the privileged position of being so far in front that the title is all but theirs.

Therefore, they have some more wiggle room than their competitors when it comes to switching to next year and senior figures at the team have already admitted the focus is now on next season.

But could that prevent them from making even more history? The idea that Red Bull’s focus on 2024 could leave them vulnerable was put to chief designer Newey and he replied “possibly.”

“I would imagine that most teams now are probably well into next year’s,” he told Motorsport.com.

“So how much development other teams have got coming in between now and the end of the year? I don’t know. For us obviously we’re now tending to switch our focus to next year.”

Aston Martin are one of the teams who have confirmed they will be developing the AMR23 throughout the year while Mercedes have also said they will have upgrades over the next few races.

But not only is it the car that Red Bull’s rivals will have to overcome but also the in-form Max Verstappen who has made some history of his own with nine successive races, tying the record with Sebastian Vettel and Alberto Ascari.

As for where Verstappen stands in the list of all-time greats, Newey believes he is already amongst them.

“Max is clearly one of the all-time greats and he’s at the top of his game,” he told Motorsport.com. “Since he won the championship in ’21 I think that took a lot of pressure off himself, and his driving has got a lot better for that.

“He’s totally in tune. The thing about Max, like all the real greats, is that you have the impression he almost drives the car on automatic, which leaves plenty of processing power to think about everything.”

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“For both the driver and the team to achieve that level of consistency and reliability is fantastic

“Never in my career have I been associated with a team where we’ve managed to win the first 13 races. Previously, it’s been like the first six or something, but it’s nothing like this.

“The team is obviously working very well together, it’s a tribute to everybody kind of really getting on doing their job.

“But the funny thing is I’ve been in this position before where you’re not consciously doing anything different, it’s just everything gels.”

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