Tire change helped but was no “magic bullet” – Newey

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Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey admits the mid-season change in tire construction by Pirelli aided their cause but was not a “magic bullet” which transformed their car.

Pirelli revised their tires on safety grounds following the British Grand Prix where several drivers suffered high-speed explosions.

“Going back to 2012 tires, for sure, helped us,” Newey told Reuters. “The 2013 tires were much more load sensitive. It was much more easy to damage them if you put too much load into them.”

Newey also believes more of the circuits in the second half of the season suited the RB9 chassis. The series of Asian races following the summer break has traditionally been a strong phase of the season for Red Bull, who have won 11 of the last 12 races in Singapore, Korea, Japan and India over the past three years.

He added there were some concerns in the team that Mercedes were going to overtake them in terms of pure performance. Their rivals took pole position in eight of the first eleven races of the season.

Newey’s focus has now turned to the coming overhaul of the engine rules: “Next year we have this big regulation change which is exciting and nerve-racking at the same time,” he said. “So that’s my immediate concentration. After that we’ll have to see.”

Alex Zanardi showing signs of interaction three months after crash

Alex Zanardi recovery
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
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MILAN — Italian racing driver turned Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi has started responding to treatment with signs of interaction, more than three months after he was seriously injured in a handbike crash.

Zanardi has spent most of that time in intensive care after crashing into an oncoming truck during a relay event near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19.

“For several days now. Alex Zanardi has undergone cognitive and motor rehabilitation sessions, with the administration of visual and acoustic stimuli, to which the patient responds with momentary and initial signs of interaction,” the San Raffaele hospital in Milan said in a statement Thursday.

The hospital said that is “significant progress” but added that his condition remains serious, and that it would be “absolutely premature” to make a long-term prognosis.

Zanardi, 53, suffered serious facial and cranial trauma in the crash and was put in a medically induced coma. Doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

He was operated on several times to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face and the Milan hospital added that he recently had undergone another surgery to reconstruct his skull and would have another one in the coming weeks.

Zanardi lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago. He won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.