With 25 championships to his name, more than most F1 teams, Fernando Alonso has joked that Adrian Newey has been responsible for “19 drivers over two decades” losing World titles.
In a sport where the driver versus car debate often leans towards the latter, Newey is regarded by many to be one of the greatest engineers in Formula One history.
Newey has won titles with Williams, and McLaren and today is doing so again with Red Bull, who secured the Briton’s 12th Constructors’ title and 13th Drivers’ with Max Verstappen at the wheel of the RB19.
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Fernando Alonso came second to Adrian Newey cars three times
Arguably the greatest car ever to have raced in Formula 1, the RB19 stands on 20 victories from 21 Grands Prix, 29 podiums, and 13 pole positions.
It’s been a record-breaking season for the team especially when it comes to Verstappen who also achieved the longest-ever winning streak when he won 10 races from Miami to Italy.
It had Alonso joking that Newey is “responsible” for a lot of heartache amongst the F1 drivers.
“He’s responsible for 19 drivers over two decades not winning championships!” he told the media including PlanetF1.com.
The Spaniard counts himself amongst those drivers having thrice finished runner-up to Sebastian Vettel during the German’s four-year championship run in a Newey-designed Red Bull from 2010 to 2013.
Mutual respect between Alonso and Newey
Although Alonso has never worked with Newey, the respect is very much a two-way street.
Speaking to the BBC ahead of the Abu Dhabi weekend, Newey said never working with Alonso was a regret as they did talk back in 2013 at the Spa airport about a possible deal.
It never materialised.
“That’s a regret that that never happened because I have a tremendous respect for Fernando,” said the 64-year-old.
That was put to Alonso in the Yas Marina paddock, the double World Champion calling the design guru a “legend of the sport.
We’ve been very close a few times to working together and we spoke about this. I remember when he published a book a few years ago in Spain I had the privilege to do the prologue.
For me, he’s just an incredible person that I was so lucky to work in the same environment as him even if we never worked together.
“I’m happy that I’m living and now driving in this time that Adrian Newey is building Formula 1 cars. “I wish one day I could work with him.
“I will drive the Valkyrie at home and maybe I feel something already when I jump in and that will make me happy.”