Team boss expects Newey at some races and tests; Horner predicts a "season of change" for Formula 1 in 2015
Thursday 18 December 2014 15:00, UK
Red Bull’s Christian Horner says Adrian Newey will still attend some races in 2015 with the team boss keen to stress that the legendary designer is not completely stepping away from F1.
Following several years of speculation that Newey, F1’s foremost car designer of the last two decades, would eventually look for fresh challenges outside of the sport, Red Bull announced in June that while the 55-year-old was staying at the company he was going to take a step back from day-to-day involvement at the F1 team and work in their newly-created Advanced Technologies division.
The reduction of the Briton’s F1 responsibilities has prompted questions as how to Red Bull, who were deposed as world champions after four seasons by Mercedes this year, will fare in the future, however Horner insists Newey isn’t completely stepping into the shadows.
“Adrian is taking a little bit of a step back, but he's still very much involved. He's overseen the design of the new car and will be coming to some of the races and he'll be at some of the pre-season tests as well,” Horner said in an interview with Red Bull’s website.
“He is going to be splitting his time between Formula One and Red Bull Advanced Technologies. We recently announced a project with Ben Ainslie Racing, a British Americas Cup entry, which is primarily focused on simulation and mathematical modelling.
"It's great to still have Adrian as part of the team and still advising and mentoring Dan Fallows, Rob Marshall, Pierre Wache and Paul Monaghan. We have such a strong senior technical team.”
The undoubted weak leak in Red Bull’s 2014 package was their Renault turbo power unit and Horner believes the team showed “outstanding” effort to rebound from what he admits “without any shadow of a doubt our worst ever pre-season”.
In a bid to bridge the power gap to Mercedes, Red Bull and Renault are working more closely together and Horner is hopeful that 2015 will prove a more competitive year.
“From a regulation point of view, nothing really will change. It's down to the teams to try and catch Mercedes now and we have a lot of work going on with Renault to try and reduce that gap. Those guys (Mercedes) aren't going to stand still either,” he said.
“We have an exciting new driver line up next year in Daniel Ricciardo and Dany Kvyat and that's going to be an exciting new dynamic and they are going to be pushing very hard. We're going to see Sebastian [Vettel] in red which is going to be a bit different and weird for the first few races. I think we're set for a fantastic season, Fernando Alonso in McLaren... again. I think it's going to be a season of change.”
Vettel’s departure to Ferrari opened the door for Russian youngster Kvyat to make the jump from Toro Rosso and Horner says the stunning form displayed by Daniel Ricciardo in the Australian’s maiden year at Red Bull showed they could trust their young driver programme.
“I think what gave us real confidence was the performance Daniel Ricciardo has delivered this year. Giving him the opportunity has given us the confidence that you can invest in youth and you can believe and trust in it," the Team Principal added.
"That's why we've taken Dany Kvyat. I've known him obviously since being a member in the Red Bull Junior Team, he drove for my team in GP3 as well, where he won the Championship and his fight back that year from mid-season to the end of the year was truly impressive.”