Adrian Newey opens up about the off-track battle that Red Bull has to get through in the 2021 F1 season as it fights for the title against Mercedes.
In his long career, Newey has seen multiple title fights, which not only stays on track but goes off it, as teams put in all effort to topple their rivals. The 2021 F1 season has seen far too many verbal off-track chat, which has been quite fiery in some sense.
It is certainly flattering for not only Newey, but also Red Bull, with Mercedes firing all cylinders – whether it is do with flexi-wings or engine and or even pit stops. “It’s absolutely correct to say that top teams are only interested in what their main rivals are up to, and not particularly worried about what a team at the other end of the grid are doing,” he said on the Talking Bull podcast.
“In many ways it is a compliment to the Team to find ourselves under such scrutiny from others. 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.
“If you take the issue with the flexible rear wing, we certainly weren’t the only team to have that issue 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,” summed up Newey, who also spoke about the Silverstone mock-up video they prepared to prove to the stewards about the possible lines with regards to Lewis Hamilton.
He was a bit disappointed with their decision, but accepted and respected it. Regarding being in a tough off-track battle, Newey noted that this is part of the game, but they wish to do it cleanly and without playing that many games. “As the viewing figures and the size of the teams have increased, Formula One has become a much bigger business and with that comes more media spin and political manoeuvring,” he said.
“I think what is great about our Team, and this comes very much from the ethos of Dietrick Mateschitz and the Red Bull outlook, is that we are here to win but we want to do it our way and in a clean way so we can stand up proudly when we do take wins. We are also a straight-talking Team both internally and externally. We do show our emotions and we are proud of that openness in the way we work and for me it is a refreshing environment to be in,” summed up Newey.
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