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.”

Supercross: Haiden Deegan debuts in 250s at Houston, Justin Cooper graduates to 450 class for Star Yamaha

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Rising star Haiden Deegan will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut in Houston, Texas with Yamaha Star Racing while the 2021 250 West champion Justin Cooper graduates to 450s.

Deegan, the son of motocross and off-road legend Brian Deegan and brother of NASCAR Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan, made two starts in the Pro Motocross outdoors season last year. He finished 31st overall at the Ironman Nationals in Crawfordsville, Indiana and was 13th at Fox Raceway in the season-ender at Fox Raceway in Pala, California, but the overall results did not necessarily reflect how well he ran. In both events, he challenged for top-10s during portions of the week and actually finished 10th in one of the Pala motos.

Last week, Haiden finished fifth in the Supercross 250 Futures in Anaheim 2.

“We’re really excited to get the season on the East Coast started,” said Monster Energy Team Manager Jensen Hendler in a press release. “It’s also exciting to have Haiden move up to join our pro program this season and to have Justin make his debut on the 450. The guys have been working hard and are looking forward to seeing what they can do this weekend in Houston.”

After scoring a 250SX Futures podium, Talon Hawkins gets 250 East ride.

Deegan will join Nate Thrasher and Jordon Smith in the 250 East division this week.

Cooper moves into the 450 class this weekend. According to Supercross rules, after winning the 2021 championship, he had one season to defend his title and then would be required to move up a class. Cooper missed all of last year to injury.

Cooper was healthy when the outdoor season started and he earned five podiums and nine top-fives in 12 rounds. Three of these races ended in runners-up finishes, at Hangtown, in Rancho Cordova, California, Washougal, Washington and Unadilla, New York.

Cooper joins Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis in the 450 class and will race select events.

Justin Cooper learned to temper aggression with speed

Cooper’s Houston attempt will be the first of an undisclosed number of races he will compete in during the 2023 season.

“It’s been about two years since I’ve lined up for a supercross, and now it’s in a new class with the best guys, so I’m excited to just get out there,” Cooper said. “I’m looking to get back under the lights and learn what I can. Overall, I’m just really excited to be in the position to be out there, so I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy it!”

Deegan and Cooper will be part of a seven-rider Supercross lineup for Yamaha Star Racing. Nick Romano will debut in the 250 East division later this year.