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How Newey's influence is felt in more than car design at Red Bull

Christian Horner says Adrian Newey’s contribution to the Red Bull team goes beyond car design input, with the legendary Formula 1 engineer’s presence providing inspiration to new technical staff.

Christian Horner, Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Newey has been a central figure in Red Bull’s rise from F1 newcomer when it took over the Jaguar team in 2005, to the super team status it achieved in the years following its first race victory in the championship back in 2009. 

With Red Bull having become the fifth F1 team to reach 100 race wins with Max Verstappen’s victory in the recent Canadian Grand Prix – after Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes – the team has been reflecting on its achievements. 

In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com, Horner praised Newey’s efforts to help turn Red Bull into a race-winning operation, which took three years after he joined from McLaren in early 2006 and was boosted by the downforce-slashing aerodynamic rule changes from 2009. 

Horner also explained how Newey’s role has changed over the years even as his job title –  chief technical officer – has not, with Newey now overseeing the Red Bull technical department led by Pierre Wache as technical director since 2018. 

Newey signed a new deal to continue in this position for several more years – the exact length of his contract beyond 2023 has not been made public – just after the 2023 campaign commenced and his job now encompasses working on design details for Red Bull’s F1 team, as well as developing its Advanced Technology business and its new Powertrains division. 

“Adrian has been a phenomenal contributor to all of the success that we’ve had,” said Horner. 

“Of course, in the early days, we were very dependent on Adrian and I collected a team around Adrian to be able to deliver from his drawing board to the car as quickly as possible.  

Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing

Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“And with a big regulation change and supported by people like Rob Marshall and other key people in the organisation in the 2010-2013 period, he did an amazing job for us.  

“He became a little disillusioned during the hybrid era when there wasn’t the ability to compete.  

“And then obviously once the engine became more competitive his enthusiasm for Formula 1 returned.  

“He’s been a key component, but of course everything evolves and I think what’s been one of the successes has been how the group has evolved.  

“The aerodynamic group are, obviously with Pierre Wache working with Adrian as technical director, able to benefit from Adrian’s experience without being dependent upon it.  

“He is such an inspirational character for all the design engineers within the team – particularly the young guys coming through and he very much enjoys working with youth and challenging things and so on.  

“So, he’s played a key role in obviously the success of the 100 victories that we’ve had, but that role has, all roles do, evolved over the years.”

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