Red Bull’s Calum Nicholas has revealed what Adrian Newey is like to work with as the legendary designer clocks up almost 18 years of working at the team.
While Newey had a long and storied career before he joined Red Bull, he has become synonymous with the Milton Keynes outfit, helping them to win six Constructors’ Championships and seven Drivers’ Championships.
Not one to speak to the media all too often, the man who sits alongside Christian Horner during a race is quite a mysterious figure but someone who knows him well has revealed what it is like to work with the 64-year-old.
Adrian Newey ‘funny’ and is ‘constantly writing notes’
Calum Nicholas joined Red Bull in January 2015 and has since built a rapport with plenty of the members of the Red Bull team, including one Adrian Newey.
As for what he is like to work with, Nicholas said he’s “reserved” but “funny.”
“Adrian is brilliant,” the senior power unit assembly technician told Sky Sports F1. “He’s quite a reserved person anyway. But when he’s in the garage, he’s quite funny.
“When you’re in the garage and you’re working and you’re busy, you can get quite annoyed if people are in your way. Certainly, like any guests or other people that are sort of non-operational that happen to be in the garage, it can get quite annoying when people are in your way.
“And when it’s Adrian, you know what he’s doing. You know, he’s there and he’s there working. The chances are, he’s going to find a way to improve the car.
“So you’re always like ‘it’s fine, Adrian’ and he’ll be there sketching away and you’ll be trying to get work done. He’s constantly writing notes, making sketches, thinking of things, that’s what he does all day long.
“You’ll be there and you’ll be trying to get something done and Adrian might be in your way and you’re trying to work around him. Eventually he’ll be ‘Oh sorry, Calum.’
“And you’re like ‘no, no, you carry on, you carry on. You’re going to have a bigger impact on making this car win than I am! So you do whatever you need to.'”
Newey can often be spotted studying not just the Red Bull team but other members of the grid and he previously revealed what was in his legendary notebook.
“It’s been through the years, I think I’ve had this more than 10 years now,” the design guru told Red Bull’s in-house Talking Bull podcast.
“I’ll be honest, most of it…you go a bit further in and you’ll have all the junk.
“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.”