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Newey surprised by Mercedes design: 'We had missed that loophole'

Newey surprised by Mercedes design: 'We had missed that loophole'

28-11-2022 12:31 Last update: 15:29


Adrian Newey acknowledges that he and the Red Bull Racing team were surprised by Mercedes ' design this year. The Red Bull designer tells Auto, Motor und Sport that he did not see this design coming but does not expect it to become the new standard in Formula 1.

That Newey and Red Bull Racing have created a great car should be obvious: Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez together won 17 of the 22 races this season. But this dominance was by no means a guarantee at the start of the year. With the new designs and new rules being raced with this season, all teams faced a big challenge in shaping a new car. At the start of the season, this high threshold was especially noticeable for Mercedes: the team that won the constructors' title last year could only win it for the first time at the penultimate race of the season.

Newey had not expected this at the beginning of the season. Mercedes had taken an interesting approach this year by virtually removing the sidepods, something that seemed promising for the team. Despite Mercedes' poorer performance this year, Newey was impressed with this choice: "We had overlooked that loophole."

Performance must be judged over the long term

Still, Newey doesn't really think Mercedes will be a trendsetter with this approach. It is not unusual for teams to adopt designs from competitors if these choices prove successful but Newey thinks it is too early to do so at this stage.

"From the outside, it is difficult to judge. The Mercedes has improved over the year. To be honest, we don't have the time to look at the concept in detail. Under a budgetcap, you can't afford that luxury anymore. That's why you go down the paths you think will bring the most success first. With the Mercedes, it will be the case that everyone will only rush to the copier if the concept suddenly becomes a lasting success."