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.

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

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.


Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing RB6 Renault leads Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing RB6 Renault

Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing RB6 Renault leads Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing RB6 Renault

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“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

Sainz: 2021 “doesn't feel like my strongest season in F1 definitely”
Previous article

Sainz: 2021 “doesn't feel like my strongest season in F1 definitely”

Next article

Alpine confident of avoiding grid penalties for F1 exhaust usage

Alpine confident of avoiding grid penalties for F1 exhaust usage
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022