Red Bull chief Christian Horner admits that design guru Adrian Newey is fully motivated, and contributing to the Red Bull chassis regarding the 2017 regulations.
Newey apparently took a sideways step from F1 to concentrate on other projects, such as yacht racing, and a new collaboration with Aston Martin regarding a certain hypercar. The new aero rules for 2017 though, have excited Adrian enough to point where he is fully involved in the RB13 design.
“In the last couple of years he’s been splitting his time 50:50 between Advanced Technology projects and F1, and that’s working very well,” Horner told Motorsport.com.
“The senior technical team have taken a step up and are doing a great job, as you can see with the current car. But Adrian’s influence and guidance is still very much there, and is very present with the 2017 car.
“He’s got a very high work ethic anyway, and he seems to be enjoying the challenge at the moment. I think for any engineer regulation changes are always stimulating, and I think that’s no different for Adrian or any members of the team.”
Having Newey onboard though doesn’t leave team boss Horner convinced that the forthcoming rules changes will benefit the team.
“There are no guarantees of anything in this business, but with a relatively clean sheet of paper it’s the same opportunity for everybody.
“We’ve got a great team and we’re relishing the challenge. There’s some very stiff opposition out there, and we don’t see it as a benefit one way or another.”
Christian then went on to say that the rule refresh should provide a boost to the commercial aspect of formula one, and reset peoples interest in the sport. This was something that Bernie (as the commercial rights holder) was pushing for ever since the introduction of the current hybrid formula in 2014.
“Inevitably there have been compromises, but generally yes, it is the right direction.
“I think the cars will be more exciting, more challenging to drive, and they will be faster and more impressive to watch.
“Hopefully with sufficient testing Pirelli will come up with a product that works well. I think there will be a bigger differential between drivers next year.
“We obviously championed very hard for a change to make the cars more challenging for the drivers, and I think 90 percent of what we positioned has been adopted.
“So I think it’s a step in the right direction. As with all these things it won’t be totally perfect and there will be evolution, but I think fundamentally it’s a very good step.”
Can Adrian continue to produce the goods for Red Bull? With Renault returning to form with signs of parity against their fellow manufacturers, few would bet against a Red Bull renaissance next year.
More to the point… will we see a bigger differential between drivers next year?