Adrian Newey Reckons Mercedes’ ‘Politicking and Lobbying’ a Compliment for Red Bull

Published 08/08/2021, 3:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 31, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during qualifiying REUTERS/David W Cerny


The rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull blew up to a whole new level after the Spanish Grand Prix this season. Their battles weren’t just subjected to on the track, but also extended into off-track activities as well. And the most certain of all is the criticism of Red Bull’s ‘bendy’ rear wings.

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Mercedes were convinced that Red Bull breached FIA’s aero regulations to improve the straight-line speed, which eventually caused a stir. Both the outfits fired shots at each other.

But before the off-track antics could turn ugly, FIA intervened and clarified that Red Bull were playing well within the rules. Hence, Red Bull’s Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey, considered Mercedes’ actions a huge compliment for the Milton Keynes outfit.

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What did the Red Bull designer say?

Speaking to Red Bull Racing, Newey reckoned Mercedes’ criticisms are proving that Red Bull are back on the top step. He further mentioned the last time such scrutinies engulfed the team, which was in the early 2010s arriving from their former rivals, Ferrari.

In many ways, it is a compliment to the Team to find ourselves under such scrutiny from others. We have experienced this before,” he said.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

But I can’t remember a time when we have received the same level of behind-the-scenes politicking and lobbying against our car.

Possibly if you look back to when we were exploring aeroelastics in 2010 / 2011 then we were under constant scrutiny and would adapt to each changing set of regulations,” Newey added.

I never like the war analogy: Newey

Despite showing hatred for such off-track battles with rivals, Newey felt that such analogies help a team improve their competitiveness.

“We’ve been here before in the last championship battles with Ferrari which involved some rows over bodywork flexibility as well,” he said.

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I never particularly like the war analogy. But it is a decent analogy. And you have to look at every aspect you can to improve your competitive position.”

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the race REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Overall, the scrutinies ended with the French Grand Prix, when the FIA openly admitted to Red Bull playing by the rules. Hence, the focus has now shifted to on-track battles entirely.

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But can Red Bull win against the ever-consistent Mercedes this season?

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Rohit Kumar

1157 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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