Horner: Newey still highly influential at Red Bull

1 Comment

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.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).