Adrian Newey’s motivation has been boosted by Red Bull’s swap to Honda engines for 2019; that’s according to Helmut Marko.
Newey is regarded by many as the best designer in Formula 1 with rival teams, most notably Ferrari, having tried in the past to lure him away from Red Bull.
The Brit stuck with the Milton Keynes team, helping them to four World Championship doubles.
He has, however, delved into other projects as he joined forces with Ben Ainslie for the America’s Cup before working on the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar.
Marko says his attention is back firmly on Formula 1 thanks to the team’s decision to swap to Honda power.
“Newey doesn’t want a normal working day anymore,” the Red Bull advisor explained to Motorsport.com. “He is working for us on a daily allowance.
“He was very fascinated and interested in the Valkyrie project.
“You always need new tasks for him.
“If Newey knows that you have no chance with the engine, then you don’t have the same Newey as now.
“He was at the Honda Development Centre in Sakura [in December].”
He added: “We’ve found a way to meet his personal needs. It brings value to the team for us.”
And although Newey is in the final year of his Red Bull contract, Marko is hoping to avert “all poaching attempts” from rival teams.
“Newey’s a crucial factor. When the new aerodynamic rules came, we were completely off. By Barcelona we had a competitive car again.
“That’s Newey. He sees what’s not right, even in the design stage, without all the technical data.
“He can tell you: ‘That won’t work’. He doesn’t have a computer – you feel right at home in his office! He just has a big drawing board.
“Another person translates it into the computer language so that the others can understand it. [But] what he designs is 95% correct.”