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Adrian Newey
Adriannewey 1337618a
Full Name Adrian Newey OBE
Date of Birth 26 December 1958 (age 53)
Occupation Chief Technical Officer
Employer Red Bull Racing
Years Active 1980 -

Adrian Newey (born 26 December 1958) is a notable Formula One engineer and widely regarded one of the great engineers in the sport's history. He is the only designer to have won Constructors Championships with three different Formula One teams. He is currently the chief technical officer of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, having designed their championship-winning Red Bull RB6 and RB7.

Newey has worked in both Formula One and IndyCar racing as a race engineer, aerodynamicist, designer and technical director and enjoyed success in both categories. Considered one of the best engineers in Formula One, Newey-inspired designs have won numerous titles and over 80 Grands Prix, dominating much of the 1990s and late-2000s. After designing championship winning Formula One cars for Williams F1 and McLaren, Newey moved to Red Bull Racing in 2006, winning the Formula One drivers and the constructors championship in 2010 and 2011.

BiographyEdit

Early CareerEdit

Born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, United Kingdom, he attended Repton public school alongside Jeremy Clarkson. Newey gained a First Class honours degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Southampton in 1980. Immediately after graduation he began working in motor sport for the Fittipaldi Formula One team under Harvey Postlethwaite. In 1981 he joined the March team. After a period as race engineer for Johnny Cecotto in European Formula 2 Newey began designing racing cars. His first project, the March GTP sports car, was a highly successful design and won the IMSA GTP title two years running.

In 1983 Newey moved to the March IndyCar project and began work on the 1984 car. Again, his design proved highly competitive, taking seven victories including the coveted Indy 500. Newey's 85C chassis took the CART title the following year in the hands of Al Unser, and his reputation as an outstanding designer was sealed when Bobby Rahal repeated this success in 1986. Working in the dual roles of designer and race engineer, Newey formed a close friendship with Rahal, a fact which would impact both their careers some fifteen years later.

With his cars regularly winning CART races Newey chose to leave March and return to Europe where he could work in Formula One, joining the FORCE team in an effort to improve its fortunes. The team withdrew at the conclusion of the 1986 season and Newey was immediately re-hired by March, this time to work in Formula One as chief designer.

In a period when Formula One car aerodynamics were still poorly understood, Newey was able to innovate. His 1988 effort was far more competitive than many expected, even leading the Japanese Grand Prix briefly, although critics suggested his quest for aerodynamic perfection had compromised the team in other areas. As March became Leyton House, Newey gained promotion to the role of Technical Director. Despite having arguably the best designer in the sport the team's results began to decline and, in the summer of 1990, Newey was fired, although he didn't have to wait long to find another role.

Williams F1Edit

Through the 1980s and into the 1990s Williams F1 was a top running team, and technical director Patrick Head wasted no time in getting a contract signed. With a vastly superior budget, drivers and resources at his disposal, Newey and Head rapidly became the dominant design partnership of the early 1990s. By mid-season 1991 Newey's FW14 chassis was every bit a match for the previously dominant McLaren, but early season reliability issues and the efforts of Ayrton Senna prevented Williams team leader, Nigel Mansell, from taking the title.

In 1992 there would be no problems, and with dominance of the sport not repeated until the Ferrari / Schumacher age, Mansell took the drivers' crown and Newey secured his first constructors' title. 1993 delivered a second, this time with Alain Prost at the wheel of the conquering FW15C.

1994 saw a rare dip in performance for Newey-designed cars and the team and drivers struggled to match the Rory Byrne-designed Benetton B194 for pace and reliability. Disaster struck at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix with the death of Ayrton Senna who had joined Williams that year. A late-season charge, helped by the suspension of Schumacher, enabled Williams to claim their third straight constructors' championship. However, Williams were unable to take a third consecutive drivers' title, and with possible manslaughter charges for Senna's accident in prospect, cracks began to show in Newey's relationship with Williams team management.

By 1995 it was clear that Adrian Newey was once more ready to become technical director of a team, but with Head a share-holding founder of Williams he found his way blocked. Loss of both drivers' and constructors' titles to Benetton in 1995 saw further distance put between Newey and Williams, and by the time Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve secured both titles in 1996 Newey had been placed on "gardening leave" prior to joining McLaren.

McLaren RacingEdit

Unable to influence the design of the 1997 McLaren, Newey was forced to attempt to improve on the Neil Oatley design while concentrating his efforts on the 1998 car. A win at the 1997 European Grand Prix saw McLaren enter the off-season on a high, and when the racing resumed four months later the McLaren MP4/13 was the car to beat. Titles followed in 1998 and 1999, and Mika Häkkinen narrowly missed out on a third drivers' title in 2000.

At the end of the 1990s Newey stood head and shoulders above his peers with 6 of the previous 10 constructors' titles and sixty-seven wins having been secured by cars of his design. Few would have suspected that five years later Newey's cars would have just 15 more victories and no titles. From 1992 through 2004 the World Drivers' Championship was an exclusive battle between Rory Byrne and Newey, with Byrne engineering Michael Schumacher to 7 titles whilst Adrian Newey engineered Mansell, Prost, Hill, Villeneuve and Häkkinen to 6 titles.

In the summer of 2001 came one of the most significant moves of the season when Bobby Rahal, by then retired from driving and managing the Jaguar team, tried to steal Newey away from McLaren in an attempt to leap Jaguar Racing to the front of the field. Despite having a signed contract Rahal was unable to complete the deal when McLaren boss Ron Dennis persuaded Newey to stay. Details of how exactly he managed this remain vague, although suggestions of a deal allowing Newey to design yachts appeared in the racing media. His change of mind effectively destroyed Rahal's credibility with Jaguar owners Ford, and he was fired from the team several months later.

Despite remaining with McLaren, rumours persisted that Newey wanted to leave the team, and by late 2004 his future began to look uncertain when speculation began that the engineer could return to Williams or even leave the sport completely. Despite strenuous denials from Ron Dennis stories continued to circulate during the 2004/2005 off-season that Newey's departure was imminent. In April 2005 it was confirmed that his contract with the team had been extended by six months to the end of the year at which point he was expected to take a sabbatical or retire from Formula One design completely, but on 19 July instead he stated that "this step can wait" and he would remain with McLaren for the year 2006.

Red Bull RacingEdit

Despite those assurances, Red Bull Racing announced on 8 November 2005 that Newey would join the team from February 2006. The Guardian reported that Newey would be getting around $10 million a year at Red Bull Racing, owned by Austrian energy drink billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, after McLaren baulked at increasing his salary in contract renewal negotiations.

Newey could hardly influence the design of the 2006 car and Red Bull's season started with poor results, having scored only 2 points from 6 races. However, the team's lead driver, David Coulthard, who had successfully driven Newey-designed cars for years for both Williams and McLaren, managed to secure 3rd place and 6 points in the Monaco Grand Prix. Although assisted by retirements of other competitors, indications were that the team was eventually beginning to pick-up where it left off in 2005 when they finished close 7th overall. The 2007 Red Bull of his design was powered by the Renault RS26 engine as the Ferrari 056 contract was transferred to Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull Racing's "B team". The car was reasonably fast but rather unreliable, with each driver retiring 7 times in a season of 17 races. Nevertheless, with the disqualification of McLaren-Mercedes, Red Bull achieved fifth place in the 2007 Constructors' Championship as targeted.

Technical directors Adrian Newey and Geoff Willis noted that the 2008 chassis was the most complex to ever have rolled out of the Milton Keynes factory. The season started well for the team, with Mark Webber scoring 5 consecutive points finishes and Coulthard claiming a podium at Montreal. At the half-way mark Red Bull were in a fierce battle for 4th place in the constructors championship, along with Renault and Toyota. However, Red Bull scored just 5 points in the 2nd half of the season (compared to 24 in the first half) as the team slipped down the grid. Interestingly even Toro Rosso managed to outscore them by the end of the season.

The car Newey designed for 2009 represented a large step up in performance for the team, with 1-2 finishes at Shanghai, in a rain affected race, and at the British Grand Prix, both won by Sebastian Vettel. Webber went on to win in Germany before a hat-trick of wins for the team at the end of the season, including another 1-2 in Abu Dhabi. Red Bull finished the season a comfortable second in the Constructor's championship.

The 2010 Red Bull car (the RB6) started the season well and proved to be the class of the field, winning on circuits requiring strengths in widely differing areas and winning the constructors championship. It took 15 out of a possible 19 pole positions. At the 2010 Brazilian GP, Red Bull won the 2010 Constructors Championship. On 14 November 2010, Newey became the most successful F1 designer ever, when Red Bull won the World Drivers' Championship with Sebastian Vettel.

On 9 October 2011, Red Bull won the World Drivers' Championship, making Sebastian Vettel the youngest double champion in the history of F1. Red Bull followed up this title with securing the constructors championship on 16 October 2011 in Korea.

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