Adrian Newey spotted taking notes on new Mercedes W14

Sam Cooper
Christian Horner and Adrian Newey celebrating the team's Monaco win. Monaco, May 2023.

Christian Horner and Adrian Newey celebrating the team's Monaco win. Monaco, May 2023.

Adrian Newey was spotted taking notes on Mercedes’ W14 as they unveiled a new design for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Mercedes’ long awaited upgrade package was finally shown to the world in Monte Carlo with the most notable change coming to the sidepods and the erasing of the so-called zeropods.

While fans and the media were intrigued as to what the Silver Arrows had come up with, it seems that it was not just those outside of the paddock who paid a key interest.

Indeed, one Adrian Newey was spotted lingering around the W14 as it lined up on the grid with the design chief then seen jotting some notes down in his notebook.

Newey may have masterminded 11 Constructors’ championship-winning cars but it seems every day is a school day and Newey will no doubt notice more than the average F1 watcher as to what exactly has changed.

Given the RB18 and now the RB19’s success, it is unlikely that Newey was there on a scouting mission to see what Red Bull could copy but instead most likely what Mercedes had copied from Red Bull.

The sight of Newey holding his notebook has become a familiar one for long-time F1 fans with the former McLaren and Williams designer first joining the sport in 1987. He recently revealed just what was in that notebook of his.

“I’ve chosen my faithful old sketchpad/notebook and my pencil,” he said when appearing on Red Bull’s Talking Bull podcast and asked to place something into the Oracle Red Bull Racing 100 Objects category. “It’s been through the years, I think I’ve had this more than 10 years now.

“I’ll be honest, most of it…you go a bit further in and you’ll have all the junk.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Aston Martin dilemma? The Lawrence Stroll headache caused by his own son

“Pen and paper is my kind of default, if you like, so I scribble a lot, I still work on the drawing board. And that for me, as opposed to CAD [computer aided design] system, that for me is kind of first language.

“So I graduated in 1980, and CAD systems didn’t really kind of come to maturity until mid to late mid ’90s, let’s say. So I’d been 15 years on a board by then.
“And I kind of looked at other guys and they seem to…certainly the early CAD systems, it’s changed over the last few years, but they spend a lot of time and a lot of energy, getting the lines onto the CAD.
​​“And once they’ve done that, because they’d used so much energy doing that, they seem to be reluctant to use the electronic rubber.

“So I think certainly, general layouts and concepts, I can work quite quickly with a pencil and rubber. I think through training effectively, from a very young age, then I seem to be reasonably good at mentally visualising things.

“And so the fact I can’t draw in 3D doesn’t bother me because I can easily break 3D into 2D. And as I say, I think more than anything it’s my first language. If I tried to now convert to a CAD system, then it would be like talking a foreign language, I’d never be as natural.”