Red Bull Racing Adrian Newey

Red Bull Racing Adrian Newey

About adrian:

Date of Birth Place of Birth:
26.12.1958 Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK

For anyone who has ever been expelled from school or fired from a job they believed they were destined to do – take heart, you’re in good company: so has Formula One’s foremost designer Adrian Newey OBE.

Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer might have won eight Formula One Constructors’ titles and helped some of the world’s most famous drivers to championship wins, but his early days weren’t without their challenges.

Asked to leave his school for high-jacking a school concert soundcheck and blowing out a stained glass window, Adrian later lost his first trackside engineering role when the driver wrongly believed his car hadn’t been given enough fuel. Adrian recalls: “In fact, the problem was a fuel leak, I’m glad to say. But anyway, in the immediate aftermath I was fired, basically and the driver asked if he could have a different engineer!”

Such revelations are characteristic of Newey’s quiet modesty, but behind the slightly donnish façade and self-effacement lies a fiercely competitive soul for whom second-best is never an option. It’s a quality he has taken to every post he has held in a long and impressive career.

After studying aeronautics at Southampton University and early stints with the Fittipaldi and March F1 Teams (which included the above incident with Christian Danner in 1982), Newey first tasted success in American racing. His March sports car design won IMSA’s GTP class in 1983 and 1984, and his IndyCar project, the March 85C, took the Championship and the Indy 500. The follow-up model won the Championship in 1986 and the Indy 500 in both ’86 and ’87 but F1 was calling, and after a brief venture with March, Newey was, by 1990, at Williams.

There, in partnership with Patrick Head, he brought home five Constructors’ titles between 1991 and 1997 and made champions of Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Alain Prost.

When Newey departed Williams for fresh challenges at McLaren, he confirmed his prowess with three further championships, rounding off the decade with the 1998 Constructors’ title and two Drivers’ crowns for Mika Hakkinen.

Having taken both Williams and McLaren to the heady heights of multiple title wins in the 1990s, Newey’s challenge, when he joined Red Bull Racing for the 2006 season, was to do the same for a young team determined to challenge the status quo at every opportunity. It didn’t take him long to deliver.

After his first two cars for the team, RB3 and RB4, made steady progress, Newey seized upon a comprehensive set of rule changes for the 2009 season to pen the RB5, which brought the team six wins and second place in the Constructors’ Championship.

The next year Newey and his team went one better and, with nine wins, the RB6 took the team’s first Constructors’ title and with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel also brought home the Drivers’ title.

Last year was, of course, even more successful. Tweaking the DNA of the previous year’s car, the RB7’s consistent performance across all circuits allowed the team to take back-to-back Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles, thanks in large part to the designer’s unflinching desire to be the best and an uncanny ability to exploit possibilities invisible to others.

Newey is just as determined a competitor in his spare time and is a keen and capable amateur racer. Whether that racing will ever include professional racing in the Red Bull Racing RB5 that he was presented with following the landmark 2009 season remains to be seen!

So far Adrian’s vision and single-minded pursuit of excellence has helped reap rich rewards for Red Bull Racing. All that now remains to be seen is just what this remarkable designer dreams up for the team in the future.

Statistics – Career Highlights

1977-1980 – Studied aeronautics and astronautics at Southampton University and wrote a thesis on ground-effect aerodynamics, which immediately landed him a job with Fittipaldi Automotive

1982 – Joined March, designed the March GTP car which won two consecutive IMSA titles

1984-1986 – Designed the March 85C and 86C, which won the Indianapolis 500 three times, while the 85C and 86C won the CART titles in ’85 and ‘86

1986 – A brief spell with the Force F1 team was followed by a return to CART to race engineer Mario Andretti. Rejoined March to design the 881 F1 car, before becoming technical director when Leyton House took over the team

1990 – Joined Williams as Chief Designer, overseeing the FW14 and the other Williams-Renaults which were the dominant force in the ‘90s, won 58 grands prix, four Drivers’ and five Constructors’ titles

1997 – Joined McLaren, took Mika Hakkinen to two world crowns

2006 – Joined Red Bull Technology

2009 – Newey’s RB5 takes six wins and a total of 153.5 points to grab second in the Formula One Constructors’ World Championship. Sebastian Vettel also takes second in the Drivers’ title race

2010 – The designer refines his ’09 design into the hugely impressive RB6. In the hands of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, the car lands nine wins and 498 points to take the Constructors’ crown. Vettel adds to the luster by claiming the team’s first Drivers’ title at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP

2011 – The RB7 takes 12 wins, 27 podiums and 18 poles. Red Bull Racing wins the Constructors’ Championship with four races remaining. Sebastian Vettel retains the Drivers’ title

  • visit The History of Red Bull Racing