Horner: Newey still highly influential at Red Bull

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Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has explained how former chief technical officer and car designer Adrian Newey remains highly influential amid the team’s struggles in 2015.

After winning three races en route to second place in the constructors’ championship last year, Red Bull has endured a difficult start to 2015, dealing with a number of engine problems and technical issues.

Newey has masterminded the success of Williams, McLaren and Red Bull over the past twenty years in F1, but took a step back from his role at the end of last season to focus on other projects.

In an interview with the official Formula 1 website, Horner said that Newey still remained very involved in the design of the RB11 car and is playing a role in helping the team to find pace and move up the field.

“We need to improve the car, but we have compromized the set-up a lot to address other issues that we have,” Horner said.

“So you end up in a vicious circle, less downforce etc., which creates other problems. We are not in an optimal position with the RB11 yet, but it is definitely an Adrian car.

“Yes, he has taken a step back but he is involved in the RB11 as in every previous car. The difference will come from RB12 onwards.

“He is not that close any more, but he was in Bahrain. He is still mentoring and guiding the technical team.”

Teams are restricted to just four power units per season, but Red Bull has already used three in the first four races due to the issues it has faced.

Horner confirmed that the ten F1 teams have agreed to raise the limit to five for the 2015 season, but says that even this won’t be enough to stop the team from facing penalties later in the year.

“For sure we are going to use more than four,” Horner said. “We’ve used three in three races, so the chances of us staying within the limit of four is close to zero.

“The teams agreed unanimously in Malaysia to introduce a fifth engine, but the engine penalties will affect others too – not only us.

“For us we would need that number to increase to seven, eight or nine engines for the season. Unfortunately these are the rules and we are not looking great within these rules.

“Hopefully these rules will become more realistic in the future.”