The brilliant story behind genius aerodynamicist Adrian Newey joining the Red Bull F1 team, narrated by Team Principal Christian Horner.
Adrian Newey is the greatest designer ever in Formula 1, with 10 Constructors’ Championships. Even more remarkably, he did that three times – Williams, McLaren, and Red Bull. The Red Bull move was a watershed moment in the team’s history. The team, in the words of Team Principal Christian Horner, was considered to be a “party team”, pre-Newey.
Christian Horner, Seb & Adrian Newey. Forever my dream team♥️ https://t.co/h0iJ97VKUa
— oh, nicole 👩🏽🔬 (@_JoyNicole) November 14, 2020
“Definitely having Adrian join was a turning moment that we went from being the party team to, well these guys are actually serious about what they are doing. As soon as Adrian joined, people started taking us seriously and thought ‘Christ, if the most successful designer of all-time has walked out on McLaren – who had just narrowly missed out on both championships through reliability issues – if he’s prepared to do it, there must be something good going on there’.”
David Coulthard did the match-making between Adrian Newey and Red Bull!
David Coulthard, who had already driven Newey’s cars at McLaren and Williams, helped with the initial liaison. Coulthard is a many of many talents and has built quite a solid network for himself in the sport. And if not for him, crazily enough, Sebastian Vettel wouldn’t have won the four titles he did. Here’s Horner with the story of how the matchmaking happened:
“You (Coulthard) were quicker than tinder! In those days you were a matchmaker!”
“So in those days, DC having driven cars of Adrian’s at Williams and at McLaren obviously knew him very well and said ‘what you have to do is you get a dinner with Adrian and his wife because, let’s face it, the wives make all the decisions’.”
“So we arranged this dinner in The Blue Birds in London and that’s where it all started and DC was talking to Adrian’s wife about everything and anything and that allowed me to have a conversation with Adrian and it turned out we had grown up in the same part of the UK, we’d gone to schools that were almost next door to each other, albeit distanced over time, but we had many things in common.”
“I think what Adrian saw was, he was inquisitive why had DC come and what had he found when he got there and was it fun? Because I think he felt slightly stifled at McLaren and this team that was full of energy and ambition, we were not quite sure how we were going to achieve it, but with the backing of Dietrich [Mateschitz – Red Bull owner] and Red Bull and the brand behind us, it really appealed to him.”
“We found out how much money he was earning at McLaren and he was nearly sent straight home, but Dietrich backed it all the way and said he was the right guy for our team and the rest is history.”
List of Adrian Newey designed cars which won the F1 Constructors’ Championship
- 1992 – Williams FW14B
- 1993 – Williams FW15C
- 1994 – Williams FW16
- 1996 – Williams FW18
- 1997 – Williams FW19
- 1998 – McLaren MP4/13
- 2010 – Red Bull RB6
- 2011 – Red Bull RB7
- 2012 – Red Bull RB8
- 2013 – Red Bull RB9