Adrian Newey backs Honda to reach Mercedes and Ferrari's performance
Listen to Natalie Pinkham's In The Pink Podcast as Newey discusses Red Bull's new engine partnership and reflects on his career so far
By Jonathan Green
Last Updated: 08/04/19 3:35pm
Adrian Newey says Honda are a "breath of fresh air" for Red Bull and is confident their engines will soon match those of Mercedes and Ferrari.
Red Bull's chief technical officer has also conceded the team have failed to get the RB15's chassis to the standard they want after an underwhelming weekend at the Bahrain GP.
Red Bull switched to Honda engines at the start of the 2019 season after 12 years being powered by Renault, during which time they won four drivers' and constructors' world championship doubles between 2010 and 2013.
Renault's underperformance during the current hybrid-era of F1 prompted Red Bull to end that relationship, with Newey describing the final two years as a "broken marriage" and explaining how Honda have revitalised the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
"Honda are really a breath of fresh air," Newey told Sky F1's Natalie Pinkham on her In The Pink Podcast. "They are great people to work with, very straight forward, very well organised.
"It's actually motivated the whole team having this new relationship with them. They always deliver what they say. No complaints at all there.
"They're not quite at Mercedes or Ferrari level yet, but I have every confidence that they will get there quite quickly. They just instil that confidence."
But Newey added: "On the chassis side, I'll be brutally honest we haven't got the car as good as we'd like it to be at the moment. We just need to get on and do our bit.
"I think that's the nice relationship that we have with Honda that we trust each other to just get on and do our bits and not start flinging mud at each other.
"Culturally, absolutely they are very different but I think as long as you respect that and understand it then it's absolutely fine."
Among many topics discussed on the podcast were:
McLaren's apparent step forward in 2019…
"McLaren have obviously had a rough couple of years in terms of probably their chassis not being as good as it could be but they have turned it around this year. That's good for the sport. I think they've produced a good car, for sure, which should certainly give them a much better season than they had last year. It's unlikely it's going to give them race-winning performance but they have made a good step which is positive for the sport."
Williams' struggles at the back of the grid…
"For Williams to be solidly on the back row of the grid is very sad. I just hope that they have the finances to make the right decisions, put the right research in to get themselves out of it."
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Pierre Gasly's tough start as Daniel Ricciardo's replacement…
"He's had an unfortunate start. In Barcelona he had two big accidents, one in the first week of testing and one in the second week. Psychologically for him it's quite a blow because now he's probably driving just a little bit stiff because he knows if he crashes again, it's going to be really unpopular. In the race [in Bahrain] if you look at his pace once he was in clear air then it was very close to Max's. He just hasn't got his qualifying sorted yet."
Why he has remained at Red Bull for 13 years…
"I just feel very comfortable there. I enjoy working there, I enjoy working with the people there and because Christian and I have been responsible for shaping how it is today, then why would I want to leave."