Red Bull technical chief Adrian Newey’s cycling incident resulted in possible brain damage which made him think of taking a step back.
Adrian Newey has been a crucial component of Red Bull’s success since joining the team in 2006; coming off of championship-winning stints with Williams and McLaren. From 2010 to 2013, the team embarked on a run of four Drivers’ and Constructors’ title doubles.
Max Verstappen’s victory as the 2021 World Champion propelled Red Bull back to the top of the standings. However, Newey’s season was not without its share of challenges.
During the 2021 summer, Newey was injured in a bike accident in Croatia, which required surgery and put him in the hospital. His MRI revealed a fractured skull and a bone chip above the upper eye muscle.
In an interview with the Standard UK, he mentioned “The three wise men appeared at the bottom of my bed — a neurosurgeon, a maxillofacial guy and the anaesthetist,”
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“With the eye, he said they’d need to act quickly or the bone could sever the eye muscle and I’d lose eye movement.” Later they revealed that he may have suffered five to 10 per cent brain damage.
“At which point I told my wife to get me out of there.” He says.
Former F1 mastermind Bernie Ecclestone, with whom he had been holidaying days before, found him a neurosurgeon in London; along with Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner who helped him get home and operated on in the UK.
People questioned Adrian Newey on his career choices when he joined Red Bull
According to the technical mastermind, working at red bull has been the most satisfying. Although his years at McLaren and Williams had been unique, they have already established teams. Red Bull, in contrast, was practically created from scratch.
“When I joined Red Bull, people thought I was committing career suicide,” says Newey.
He proved everyone wrong by building Red Bull right from the ashes to the top of its game along with Christian Horner.
When asked about the reigning world champion, he says that max’s portrayal of an aggressive driver is exaggerated. He feels that maybe in his early F1 races, Max was pretty aggressive, but that was uncalled for last season.
Calling Max one of the great drivers he’s worked with; the technical chief talks about his latest title contender saying “He’s very calm generally, very measured, he has tremendous reflexes and is a pleasure to work with.”
The 63-year-old states that if Verstappen continues with his current form, he stands a good chance of winning the title again.