Newey: Politicking against Red Bull at level never seen before in F1

Red Bull Formula 1 technical chief Adrian Newey says he cannot remember a time when his team has faced a barrage of ‘politicking and lobbying’ against it like this year.

The Milton Keynes-based team is locked in an ultra-close tussle for the world championship with rival Mercedes, as the two outfits have been hard to separate over the first half of the campaign.

But as well as the battle on track, the season has witnessed its fair share of clashes off it, with the FIA being pushed to issue technical directives about flexi wings, tyre pressures and pit stops.

All of these interventions appear to have been targeted against Red Bull, although none of them have so far made a noticeable difference to its performance.

But for Newey, who has been a part of Red Bull since 2006 and been involved in all its championship successes, he says the level of behind-the-scenes shenanigans has been greater than he has experienced before.

“In many ways it is a compliment to the team to find ourselves under such scrutiny from others,” he said in an interview published on the Red Bull website.

“We have experienced this before but I can’t remember a time when we have received the same level of behind the scenes politicking and lobbying against our car.

“Possibly if you look back to when we were exploring aeroelastics in 2010 / 2011 then we were under constant scrutiny and would adapt to each changing set of regulations. We’ve been here before in the last championship battles with Ferrari which involved some rows over bodywork flexibility as well.

“I never particularly like the war analogy – but it is a decent analogy, and you have to look at every aspect you can to improve your competitive position.

“That is the nature of F1, and one of the things that makes it so stimulating, but it is the frequency and intensity of this year that is quite telling.”

Read Also:

Reflecting on the flexi wing saga that emerged at the Spanish Grand Prix, Newey said the biggest hindrance to the clampdown was not a performance one – but more the costs involved in needing to strength their components.

“If you take the issue with the flexible rear wing, we certainly weren’t the only team to have that issue,” he said.

“But of course, when Mercedes started making noise about it, they weren’t worried about what Alfa were doing. They were only worried about whether we were getting a benefit, which we really weren’t. But there was a cost implication to changing that part which obviously hurt.

“It is however a great testament to the depth of our team that we can respond to changes and is a great example of when our team is put in a corner we can come out fighting and continue to be just as competitive.” 

shares
comments

Related video

How sim racing gave Verstappen the assurance he needed after 51G shunt

Previous article

How sim racing gave Verstappen the assurance he needed after 51G shunt

Next article

Alpine explains why it has burned through F1 exhaust allocation

Alpine explains why it has burned through F1 exhaust allocation
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021