Newey: Vettel at the top of his game

Date published: May 19 2011

Adrian Newey reveals that the hard working Sebastian Vettel has upped his game following his World title win…

Adrian Newey reveals that the hard working Sebastian Vettel has upped his game following his World title win and has backed Mark Webber to remain with Red Bull.
The German has won three of the first four races of the season and is looking near unstoppable as he looks to secure back-to-back titles.
While the RB7 is clearly the best car on the grid at present, Newey insists that Vettel’s results don’t come without a lot of hard work.
“The truly great drivers I’ve worked with have all been very determined. They all have great self-belief. But they work hard at it,” Newey told The Guardian.
“Sebastian will often work late trying to understand how the car is working and how he can improve. He’s a quick learner and rarely makes the same mistake twice.
“At the moment he’s really on top of his game. So far the gap between Sebastian and Mark [Webber] has been bigger than last year. It’s certainly not a case that Mark has been driving any slower – that’s for sure. Mark’s just taken a bit longer to adapt to the Pirelli tyres but the gap is closing,” he added.
Webber’s inferior performances have added fuel to the speculation that the Australian will leave Red Bull at the end of the season. Newey for one believes that Webber should remain with the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
“Crikey, I’m hoping Mark continues next season,” said the Briton.
“Apart from being a great person, his contribution has been significant. He’s been a pillar of the team from the start. Seb is very perceptive in his feedback in some regards and Mark is very perceptive in other areas. We listen to both and it helps the car.”
Having seen Red Bull claim both the Driver’s and Constructor’s titles last season, Newey concedes that despite all their glory, the season was a difficult one.
“It was one of the hardest championship-winning seasons for many reasons,” he explained.
“Collectively we made hard work of winning it even though we had the quickest car. We threw huge amounts of points away and had growing friction between Mark and Seb.
“Unfortunately both drivers were influenced by the press and were a little naive – because you shouldn’t take heed of that. And then we had constant sniping over the legality of our cars.”
“It gets boring,” says Newey of the constant speculation regarding the legality of his cars.

“When one team snipes at another about the legality of its car it can be out of simple jealousy or because the griping driver is being fed by his team who are telling him his rival’s modification might get banned. When a driver starts griping about a competitor’s car it’s clearly coming from the team. Drivers don’t suddenly become experts in front wings.”