Newey: Never experienced same level of F1 consistency as Red Bull in 2023

Adrian Newey says that 2023 constructors’ champion Red Bull’s current level of consistency is beyond anything he has experienced during his celebrated Formula 1 career.

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer

Newey, whose top-flight tenure started with a stint at Lola in 1986, has designed grand prix cars that have so far won 12 constructors’ titles and 12 drivers’ crowns for three teams.

Notably, Williams scored 10 wins - including six 1-2s - from 16 GPs in 1992 and 12 victories in 1996.

After moving to Red Bull as chief technical officer in 2006, Newey oversaw machines that won 12 races in 2011 and clocked 13 triumphs in 2013 as the calendar grew to 19 rounds.

But speaking on F1’s Beyond The Grid podcast, Newey reckons the consistency achieved by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez aboard the RB19 this season still stands proud.

Newey, whose episode was recorded in Singapore when the Red Bull count was 14 wins, said: “This has been our biggest run of success that I’ve certainly ever experienced.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have been involved in cars that have been dominant in the past, but we’ve never had this level of consistency.

“People might think it now that everything is kind of guaranteed and it’ll be smooth. The reality is, so many things can go wrong in a race.

“Actually getting two cars to the finish, preferably both of them near the front week after week, it’s a difficult challenge because of all the elements that can go wrong: reliability, accidents, strategy, performance obviously.

“So, to achieve this, I think, is a real tribute to everybody.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, 1st position, takes the chequered flag

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, 1st position, takes the chequered flag

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Critical to the success of the RB19 has been its wide operating window that enables the car to adapt to a variety of circuits.

This compares to the sensitive Mercedes ‘zeropod’ architecture that debuted with the W13 in 2022, a design guided by the peak downforce numbers the team could simulate.

Despite the heavily contrasting concept from a team that had just won eight constructors’ titles in succession, Newey said he had a ‘gut instinct’ not to consume restrictions under the FIA cost cap to study the Mercedes solution and compare it to the one devised by Red Bull.

He said: “Even with all the tools we have now, there still has to be a degree of gut [instinct].

“The reality is, even before the cost cap, we were still resource and people limited.

“We have never had the capacity to research endless different paths in great detail.

“If you take a recent example, obviously with last year’s car we took an aerodynamic direction with the sidepod and design and the concept of the car, which was almost polar opposite to what Mercedes did.

“Mercedes showed flashes of competitiveness last year. They obviously won in Brazil.

“Then you’re faced with a choice of ‘Do we start to research Mercedes in case we’ve missed something or do we stick with what we’re doing?’ Gut feeling was stick with what we’re doing.”

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