Rumination on Newey and engines…

It seems that every day there are stories on the web quoting Adrian Newey saying something about the situation with F1 engines. The sport, he argues, should not be dominated by horsepower, but rather focus all of its efforts on aerodynamics, an area of the sport which has little or no value to anyone other than the F1 teams. That would not be so bad if he was proposing no more wind tunnels, so that F1 could focus all of its mighty resources on the development of CFD, a technology which could be used in all manner of industries and other walks of life. Now he is saying that the end of the F1 token system could lead to a spending war. Perhaps it could. This is why the token system existed. But that is probably not very healthy for Red Bull because if there is a spending hike, it makes it less likely that another car manufacturer will decide to enter F1 to take on Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda. And that means that Red Bull is likely to suffer because the factory teams have a competitive advantage because the chassis and engine design need to be closely coordinated these days, and customer teams just have to accept what they get, even if it is the same spec of engine. There are compromises that cost tenths of seconds.

It is hard to imagine that no other F1 team is looking at Newey’s situation and wondering whether it might not be a good idea to offer him the world to get him. He has done well with Red Bull, but then before that he did well with McLaren and before that with Williams. He’s a clever man and he is not afraid to jump ship and do it all again somewhere else. There have been signs that his interest in F1 was waning, but I hear his input in the yachting project is less than might be imagined and that the road car he has designed (for Aston Martin) has yet to go into production. He has his own racing cars and his son’s career as a driver is obviously a matter of interest to him, but might his talents not be better used elsewhere? One might imagine Renault, for example, looking at him and thinking: “No harm in asking”, Ferrari and Mercedes don’t really need him and a return to McLaren is not awfully likely. But what about Williams, where he started his F1 success? The team cannot afford the same kind of salary as Red Bull could offer, but it has a technology division doing all kinds of stuff. It has infrastructure and connections in the road car world. And it can offer shares… 

Newey is now 57 and he has maybe one more five to eight-year cycle left in his F1 career. He shouldn’t need money. It’s hard to spend what he has earned in his career. He is still fascinated by the sport, despite his gripes, and one can imagine that he might perhaps consider that a change would be a good thing, if the right opportunity were to come along. Maybe not, but there has been a pattern in his career to date. He doesn’t need to prove anything else, but that doesn’t mean he would not want to…

One can argue that without Newey Red Bull would be in trouble, but there are other arguments too: some say that the sport has grown so much in recent years that the big teams no longer need individuals with exceptional talent, they needs to put together groups of exceptional people, and that tends to drive down the price of the biggest names.

Red Bull has to be aware that Newey will likely be the target of offers from elsewhere, but it has got itself into an unfortunate mess in that it doesn’t have an engine manufacturer behind it, and it may not get one. Red Bull’s F1 involvement is a marketing exercise, designed to sell fizzy drink, so a manufacturer looking to sell cars might not see the logic of an alliance (as happened with Renault). It does not help that Red Bull folk have a habit of bad-mouthing their suppliers when things go wrong, which is never smart in a small industry.

On the face of it, therefore, Red Bull has two choices: doubling or quitting. It wants the amazing publicity that F1 brings and it is hard to replace at the same level of cost. 

But to make an F1 programme work properly does Red Bull need to become an engine manufacturer? 

Logically, the answer is no, but Red Bull these days is more than just a drink company. It owns a media company, creating its own content and running its own TV channel, it owns racing circuits, it owns sports teams and stadiums in which they play, it owns entire sport franchises, such as the Red Bull Air Race. If he wanted to, Dietrich Mateschitz could go into the engine business, which at a time when the automobile industry is in a state of flux, with new ideas coming every day, might not be such a daft idea. Apple, remember, started out making computers and is now working on cars. Google is a search engine, but it is building cars. The amusing thing is that there is also a market for such engines, as Red Bull itself knows. F1 needs an independent engine supplier, to help keep small teams alive and manufacturer power in check…

101 thoughts on “Rumination on Newey and engines…

  1. Williams might a good place for Newey to land, however agreeing terms could be a troublesome. How about Newey at Haas? That also would be an interesting partnership and gene Haas has the resources to thow in Neweys direction. I assume there is zero chance of stealing Ross Brawns fishing rod and putting into the mix somewhere?

  2. Well if a certain group decided to invest F1 profits back into the sport, we could easily have an independant manufacturer…

    1. A certain group? CVC Capital Partners. I am rolling on the flow laughing at the idea that they will invest in this business. They are takers. They don’t give zip.

      1. The CVC ownership might have worked well for Bernie but it’s been very poor for (most of) the teams and in particular the fans. It would be great to see a more level playing field for the bulk of the revenue flowing back to the teams and more evenly spread also. In hindsight the teams would have been better to break away and create their own series in the same way the big US sports operate – NFL, NBA & MLB as a trade association made up of and owned by all the member teams who all get equal shares of total pot and so there is less reliance on constantly chasing sponsorship dollars. It’s sad that the teams who create the show only get a fraction of the income they generate. The sweet deal the top teams like Ferrari get though will never allow this to happen. They have too much to lose by sharing with the little guys both in results and money.

  3. I don’t get the impression that Newey is much motivated by money these days. The figures that Ferrari offered him during the Alonso years were eye watering and he still chose to stay at Red Bull. I think it’s more likely he would undertake a new technical challenge hence his interest in the Audi F1 program.

  4. F1 needs an independent engine supplier, to help keep small teams alive and manufacturer power in check

    You might argue that having Red Bull at the table of engine manufacturers is no better than them being in the F1 strategy group. They wouldn’t be independent, they’d just be entirely self-interested.

  5. Would RB, if they do build themselves a great PU, sell it to anyone else? Sure, they think they’re the smartest guys around, but do they believe that enough to sell their PU?

  6. Hi Joe.

    With the implication that Newey may be given offers, with his current situation, you have also mentioned Williams.

    You made comments for Renault, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren as they would be manufacturer backed.
    However, Williams are not a manufacturer ‘works team’.

    Why have you included them as possible moves?
    Would such a move make sense for Newey?


  7. Adrian Newey has no one to blame for his predicament than himself. He had the opportunity given by his status in the sport to speak out against his team and ask them to be professional in recent years. Instead he joined in and added to the argument with his negativity on engines. He should grow up, the sport was not invented for his amusement, but you would think it was with his statements about aero. Engines were fine when they blew his trick diffuser. But the company that delivered that capability sucked when they no longer could win. You think that any team wants someone so negative when speaking to the press? Two words “loose” and “cannon” must come to the mind of every PR manager!

    So how about Adrian Newey single handily ruined F1 by making it aero dependent where drivers can no longer overtake! Yep just as stupid a comment as those attributed to Mr Newey! His reputation is being destroyed by such comments. I suggest it is better he retire and he lets the sport move on. He does not like CAD, he does not like CFD. He is not man enough to stand up to those in his current team that work hard to drag the sport down for column inches with the teams name in it. His time has come and gone.

    1. And these are the people pushing to add something like 300kg of aero for the 2017 regs, which will most probably result in a car following another loosing that much more aero to what it is already loosing.

    2. A bit harsh! He’s saying what he thinks, and we don’t all necessarily agree. How many times have we bemoaned the lack of unspun comment in F1? Forget about upsetting PR managers.

      1. And how is parroting his own team manager a triumph of ‘unspun’ sincerity?

        Actually, I do think he believes what he’s saying. The fact he’s *authentically* that solipsistic doesn’t really help.

        I’m with Adam. I’d imagined he was a bigger man than this.

  8. More winglets and venturi tunnels, or and extra 50bhp? Know what I’d rather see. Sorry to disappoint you, Adrian.

  9. It seems to be a standard procedure at Red Bull to have their principle management grouse to the press when things aren’t going their way. It’s only natural that Newey, an aerodynamics engineer would think that F1 should be all about aero but in reality the engine that drives the car is more accentual to the concept. Your point about his worth to other teams is a good one but if the current focus on power units continue wouldn’t there be, as he seems to suggest, let need of his skill set?

  10. The aerodynamic evolution of a formula one car is a thing of beauty, whether this is achieved by wind tunnels or CFD doesn’t matter.

    1. What do they say about things of beauty? “…in the eye of the beholder”. F1 cars may be aerodynamically efficient, but beautiful?!

  11. I don’t think Red Bull have been so foolish. As a marketing exercise, they’re getting a great deal of attention regardless. ‘Red Bull’ is named 13 times in this one short article…

    Seriously though, would the situation for Red Bull be any better if they’d played nice? Wouldn’t Merc and Ferrari still have turned them down anyway… and the Renault engine would have been just the same.

    1. When one of the rbr top brass speaks nowadays and as soon as he finishes and turns his back those listening can be heard exclaiming “asshole”

    2. Even if that’s right (& I’m not convinced it is), fans, journalists, commentators and half the paddock would be talking about how badly they’d been treated and how it devalued Mercedes’ championships.

      Instead of how they’re a bunch of —- and had it coming to them.

      Now, it may be that the latter associations are on message for the Red Bull brand. In which case, job done.

  12. It’d be great to see him at Williams Joe. It would make up for that fateful decision 11-odd years ago when they last had the chance to sign him only to go with “youth”. Hence, Adrian joined Bull. I’m sure they still kick themselves for that…

  13. A cynical person might conclude that Newey’s gripes about the Formula being engine dominated arise out of a concern about a possible fall in his own relative value….

    In terms of Newey’s input at BAR (The Americas Cup Team, not the late unlamented F1 team), the news that his contribution is less than expected is no surprise.

    I think I mentioned here before that the skill set is not as transferable as one might imagine (rather like moving from Obstetrics to Brain Surgery), – the only other F1 Designer to have made the transition ended up designing Halyard locks, which to give it an F1 equivalent, might be considered similar to a suspension wishbone or similar. Probably the best Newey can hope for is that he’s picked up a bit of expertise in CFD, given it’s been used in Grand Prix Yacht design for nearly 30 years, so is somewhat ahead of the curve compared to F1.

  14. CFD has been important for some decades been pretty important to Rolls Royce, Boeing and aircraft/engine design

    And don’t forget Adrian’s contract with Jaguar in 2001

  15. sorry to plug this but recently I had a chance to sit with Adrian and he had this point about CFD and wind tunnels… [link removed]

      1. sorry for posting the link and my apologies. I will paste only the text of what he had to tell about wind tunnels and CFD if that is fine with you.

        “One possibility is to restrict aerodynamics testing. The biggest performance differentiator with respect to the chassis is aerodynamics. It costs in terms of hiring aerodynamics engineers to design and then manufacture these parts. There have been suggestions to impose cost cap, but it is difficult to police especially since the major car manufacturers have divisions. We need to reduce wind tunnel testing and use CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), and restrict the computer cluster size for CFD, so that would limit how much testing you can do. With that, you also put a restriction on the number of people working on it. Another option is to reduce the number of updates you can bring to cars in terms of number of front wings and rear wings — like one update for four to five races or so.”

  16. So what’s the ownership of Cosworth and/or their desire to whitelabel products for licensed partners?

    As well as engines, they do dashboards, so it’s not hard to imagine a line of Red Bull branded “go faster” dashes and associated phone apps, in part using Cosworth’s dashboard UI design knowledge, for sports where a phone app will do…?

  17. “…could lead to a spending war.”

    Memo to Adrian: the spending war commenced in Nov 2004 and you are dead-center of the vortex.

    Ron Dennis and Frank Williams had a long-standing entente cordiale concerning their respective rate cards;they both knew where they stood on the financial resources each other had available and they could count on the usual sturm und drang in Maranello to discount its greater financial war chest.

      1. JS:

        “But to make an F1 programme work properly does Red Bull need to become an engine manufacturer?”

        “If he wanted to, Dietrich Mateschitz could go into the engine business, which at a time when the automobile industry is in a state of flux, with new ideas coming every day, might not be such a daft idea.”

        I think a lie down is a good idea. 🙂

    1. “red bull design and build their own engine” Does anybody on here seriously believe that red bull designing their own engine and or an independent the likes of AER, Cosworth or Ilmor will be able or capable to compete with or challenge any of the present four manufacturers in this new power unite formula?

      1. Never in a million years. Independent teams would have nowhere near the spending power of Ferrari & Mercedes + don’t forget that they also make up the rules, therefore no team would be allowed to challenge them.

      2. @Sunny Stivala said “Does anybody on here seriously believe that red bull designing their own engine and or an independent the likes of AER, Cosworth or Ilmor will be able or capable to compete with or challenge any of the present four manufacturers in this new power unite formula?”

        Yes I do! Knowledge and creative thinking are not exclusive to the current engine manufacturers. Money is not always the answer to everything. The current F1 engines have some way to go in development, and in the use of new technologies, and ideas.

  18. Now I could be wrong, but my feeling is that if an engine manufacture with the experience of Renault is having difficulty, a brand new entrant starting from scratch would likely have more trouble than desired. Look at a company with the resources Honda has and where they are at the moment. Christian Horner has stated that they are all set for 2017. The implication being that something new is on the horizon for Red Bull. Some say it actually is with VW. Who knows? Maybe it is their own endevour, or perhaps it is VW? VW I think would be ideal. The Dirt Bags and the Sleeze bags teaming up to jointly be The Scumbags is a match that just deserves to happen.

  19. I find it quite amazing that an intellect the size of Newey’s would ever say that F1 needs only concentrate on aerodynamics. That’s like suggesting Boeing only need build engines for their aeroplanes, or that a yacht-builder only need worry about shark attack!

    I cannot believe that Newey would think anything so one dimensional if he’s as smart as everyone says he is. ‘t would almost make me believe that a complex statement has been boiled down by some sort of ‘expert’ journalist before Joe heard it, and passed it on to us.

    So either Joe is doing something he says he doesn’t do (just report what others have said about what a third party has said) … or Newey isn’t anywhere near as smart as he thinks he is, and has been an awfully lucky figurehead in some great engineering teams.

    Or Newey has just lost the plot.

    1. Newey has always been an aero man, and from my memory, most quotes attributed to him tend to dismiss engines in favour of aero.

      he seemed to not like the principle Kers, and fought hard not to have it on the cars right at the beginning.

      I would never dream of suggesting that the timing of his interest in working on other things was in any way connected with the timing of the new engines and flouncing off in the huff about engines being the dominant factor once again.

  20. An interesting notion (Red Bull becoming an engine source), and it offers two means of implementation:
    1. Rebranding someones else’s PU as a Red Bull
    2. Manufacturing their own PU.

    Surely the rebranding route is more likely to happen, as the time and expertise required to design, manufacture, integrate, and test a PU from scratch would take years. Even if components were outsourced and all they wanted to produce was the IC engine, the same scenario regarding time would still apply.

    And they would have no one to point the finger at if the team performance still lagged!

    1. Nope. It is a theory. If they were thinking about it, they could buy an AER, a Cosworth or an Ilmor. The potential is there. Look at the people who bid for the customer engine… Whether it will happen is another story

  21. Slightly off-piste Joe, if I may, but are there twists yet to unravel with the Caterham saga? Like a strange rumanian cleaner with diabetes who offered to buy out Fernandes…….

  22. ” he argues, should not be dominated by horsepower, but rather focus all of its efforts on aerodynamics”

    Sorry but this is plain wrong if you ask me.

    I’m sorry I don’t have the maths or equations to back this up but surely it is all about horsepower, what fans want to see is drivers wrestling the cars, dancing through a corner, struggling to keep the thing under control. The deft hands of the greats will always triumph over the brute force of the nearly “men” if you ask me.

    In an aero dominated era it looks like the cars are on rails and impossible to follow closely.

    From a relevance perspective I totally agree, when you look at the average speed of the majority of commuter journeys, which account for a large percentage of all car journeys, aero performance has a gnats effect on anything. engine power, and efficiency certainly do come in to play at all speeds. With increasing safety focus and increased congestion it seems inevitable that speeds will fall reducing the impact of aero to road relevance.

  23. He could even buy Formula One from the parasites and give Bernie one last hurrah as F1 supremo. The exposure Red Bull Formula 1 World Championship would give is what he wants and he’d be making a lot of money from it too. They can promote the series easily better than the current promoter.

    The Red Bull Formula 1 World Championship has a ring of inevitability about it, don’t you think?

  24. Red Bull become a F1 engine manufacturer? But the smart money is already chasing electric / battery technology.

    And, remind me, isn’t there already a race series geared towards developing this technology? Perhaps Dietrich, being a forward-looking fellow, would be better advised to spend some of his billions in this direction?

    1. It depends on whether you think full electric or hybrid is the future. Ask Donald Mackenzie and he wouldn’t have a clue.

  25. The arrogance topped with a sense of entitlement and certified with a pedigree of hypocrisy of the top brass at the red bullies is something that has never been seen before in the history of formula one.

  26. It’s a shame Newey seems so focused /fixated on such an unproductive part of the sport.
    Is there any indication of redbull finally just buying FOM and leaving the cars alone?

  27. Newey seems to have taken a leaf out the Red Bull owners ” constant moaning mantras “.
    He’s had his time on the F1 victory stage with his Red Bull cars in the most boring years of F1, when Red Bull was winning everything. They were not moaning when they were putting trophies away in their trophy room over the 4 years. I’m so glad that this team is falling short & know still using a Renault engine masquerading as a TAG engine. Hopefully Red Bull will hopefully & ruin another sport & leave F1 to the big boys Mercedes Ferrari & Mclaren. Enjoy your Yachting Newey.

  28. I mean hopefully Red Bull will walk off into the sunset & ruin another sport & leave F1 to the big boys Mercedes Ferrari & Mclaren. Enjoy your Yachting Newey.

    1. That seems totally unfair. We might not like their moaning, but they’ve contributed to some exciting on track stuff and when dominant they were not as dominant as Mercedes are at present, I think. They’ve brought in some good drivers, even some great drivers.

      Any team/car/driver leaving the sport is a loss IMHO

  29. Will Newey acknowledge the part the engine freeze had in his current teams success, between 2009 and 2013, than he does in the engines being part of it’s downfall? I’ve yet to see that written or reported anywhere.

    And it’s poignant, because how could manufacturers compete with his genius in those days, as he does now?
    What he asks for is having his cake and eating it, the sport will lose more in the long run should F1 become aero dominated, and completely irrelevant to manufacturers.

    1. JET, Nice to have came across you once again, Exactly why I said that their arrogance topped with a sense of entitlement and certified with a pedigree of hypocrisy has never been seen before in formula one.

  30. With Red Bull having such a raft of non-fizzy-drinks-related activities, it makes me wonder whether these make any money with these, or is it all in the name of selling ever more of the drink? On the same note, since Ferrari almost certainly makes money off its F1 operation, I wonder if Red Bull does, too? They have had their share of sweet deals.

  31. As an aside to all this talk of aero; it’s always surprised me that non of the people I know in the field of sailplane / glider design have ever been approached by F1 teams. The working speed range of most gliders closely matches the operating speeds of the modern F1 car, and the aerodynamic tweaks currently employed on the more exotic sailplanes are far in advance of anything I’ve seen in F1.

    Thoughts Joe?

    1. I may be missing something but I’d have thought that the goal of sailplane designers would be very different from that of the F1 bod. Throw in the effect of a body moving in close proximity to the ground and I’d be surprised if there’s much crossover.

      OTOH it was fluid mechanics which caused me to drop out of an engineering degree course…

        1. Then you should prepare yourselves to be surprised, Joe / Mr Larrington.

          Never mind. When F1 starts to discover the advantages of gap sealing and moderating airflow via turbinated wings with blow holes or zig zag tape you can write a short post apologising to me 🙂

  32. “it owns racing circuits,”

    Recently, there is some fuzz about the fact that the health fund is investigating against the Red Bull Ring Motor Club and the Marshals Association because of their charitable status. If they have to be dispanded no racing will be possible on RBR unless there is some substitute.

    Obviuosly, none of them get paid; maybe Red Bull should invest some money here?

  33. Hopefully the “Slide Rule Kid’ is going back to Team Willy, I wonder if he still measures the electrical wiring and gives “just” enough room under the bodywork.

  34. Joe, sorry for off-topic, but is there any substance in these rumors about Samsung becoming title sponsor of McLaren? Samsung scheduled unveiling of their new Galaxy for Barcelona, February 21st!

      1. I remember another rumour, whether true or not, of Sony trying to sponsor McLaren, a few years ago.
        Was there substance to this? I’d imagine Ron’s sponsor demands and the team’s drop in form might have changed things, if true.

  35. I think people sometimes confuse talent and success with wisdom. While Newey maybe an aero genius – a one in a million talent – it doesn’t mean he’s necessarily the wisest guy. Or even a good guy for that matter. So, maybe, one shouldn’t be surprised by his attitude.

    I could see losing Newey leading to RB quitting F1 in a huff, especially if they don’t have a top engine by that point.

  36. Didn’t he or someone say that he only does 1 days work a week with the F1 team? Thought that was rather extraordinary to have him not there all the time.

    As for him not needing money, fixing classic motor racing cars is an expensive business.

  37. It pains me to take issue with you, Joe, as you are by far the F1 writer I respect the most, but I don’t think you are being totally fair to Adrian Newey when you report that he is arguing the sport should “focus all of its efforts on aerodynamics”. In his interview in the Indian media last week, he is quoted as saying “it is important to find the right balance between the chassis, engine and the driver for the sport to be competitive, but right now the engine is dominating, which is unhealthy”. That isn’t the same as saying all of the focus should be on aero, just that not all of the focus should be on engines, which is rather different. Surely indeed his use of the word balance suggests he is arguing for an equal focus on the two aspects?
    To the suggestions (not from yourself, Joe, I hasten to add) that Mr Newey is merely adding his own contribution to the moans and unpleasantness generated by certain of his team colleagues in recent months towards their engine supplier, I would say that again this isn’t borne out by the actual quotations in his recent interviews. In the latest interview yesterday, he makes the general criticism that engine makers who supply units to their customers which are inferior to those they use themselves are not helping the sport to be competitive, but then he goes out of his way to exempt Renault from this criticism, saying “they have always given the same power units in every sense of the word, including software, to their customer teams as their works teams”. As with his comment on finding a balance between aero and engines, I find this remark to be entirely reasonable and constructive in attitude.
    I have always liked and admired Adrian Newey, but I am rather less fond of his current employers, lest anyone might think I am coming at this from a biased position as a Red Bull fan. That said, in the context of the debate about wind tunnels, it’s worth noting that amongst the teams the leading proponent of a ban over the last eighteen months has been none other than Christian Horner.
    One last point about Adrian Newey. As you so rightly put it yourself, Joe, “he is not afraid to jump ship and do it all again somewhere else”. If you will allow me to expand on that a little, what he has specifically shown himself unafraid to do – twice – is quit one team for another that is performing less well at that point in time, in order to take on the challenge of hauling his new team up the pecking order. That suggests that while there do indeed seem to be certain individuals at Red Bull who believe it is their God-given right to win all the time and are incapable of adapting to a period of losing, Adrian Newey is certainly not one of them.

      1. > the leading proponent of a ban

        Is the team principal of the team with a current advantage, which would stand to gain by making it harder for his rivals to catch up.

        Here’s how to spot Christian Horner saying something self serving:

        He’s moving his lips.

  38. I’ll tell you why the focus should be on the chasis (not just aero), because if so much focus is on the engine (as it is now) then it no longer becomes a true team sport.

    Let’s not kid ourselves, Ferrari and Merc will never be beaten by any of their customers.

    F1 is just an engine manufacturers sport these days.

    Newey is right.

    1. I don’t agree with this either. If it becomes Chassis and Aero dominate the teams with the best staff, most money and resources will win…ie Red Bull.
      Plus, we have to attest that aero and chassis do still play an important part in the sport, Red Bull beat all teams bar Mercedes in 2014 after all.
      And only due to Renault’s regression due to massive pressure from Red Bull to get updates fast tracked, did they suffer in 2015.

      When all is tallied up, engines make a large difference, but that it is the only differentiator is rubbish. Mercedes chassis and aero are as good if not better than anything else out there at present. This was borne out of their experiences from 2010-2013 where aero and chassis divisions were beefed up to counter Red Bull, and the fact they could’t do anything with their engine to improve performance in this time.

  39. This has to be the harshest blog you have written.

    I believe that he is right to point out that this Formula has created a huge division between manufacturers and their customers. That division is created by software not metal and how customers are required to vote with their supplier in the Strategy group.

    Ferrari and Mercedes controlling F1 is no better than Bernie and CVC. I am sure we all wish that the FIA would realise this and take back the control it should have never relinquished.

    I still doubt that we will see any of this technology in everyday road cars anytime soon. Sure we are likely to have electrically boosted turbos in 2017/18 but ithey will likely be made by Pierburg rather than a manufacturer from F1. The technology has been mainstream in VOLVO-Penta marine engines for some time.

    The battery packs are unaffordable for road cars and only Toyota have affordable hybrid technology in a very small proportion of their annual production. Even the Hypercars from Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren do not make use of this F1 technology.

    I think Newey is genuinely concerned that the sport is shortly to become a race between Ferrari and AMG playing out their race strategies with everyone else pretty much picking up the crumbs.

    The sport needs excitement, gladiators racing chariots, if it is going to attract a younger audience. That could be achieved at a fraction of the cost of these power units.

      1. I don’t think that DM, CH & FOM are smart enough to have set this agenda themselves. I suspect they needed AN to explain it to them.

        A handshake between DM and Lauda should have been sufficient to seal a competitive engine deal for sportsmen. The fact that Ferrari and Mercedes have both declinend to offer a well-resourced team a decent engine defines their non-sporting agenda.

        Personally, I would love to see RB hammered on the track, preferably by a McLaren Honda, but under this current regime I am really surprised they are bothering.

        As you have indicated, it is not as though they do not have other, less expensive, resources to promote their fizzy drink. But F1 would be a loser without them and Newey’s great achievements with the chassis that he has been involved with over a very sustained period.

    1. Roger,

      Mercedes say the tech being used now will see the light of day in Mercedes products as soon as the next 2/3 years. That being Hybrid tech, and energy efficiency ratings of 45% plus…. that is progress by any interpretation and as a direct result of the F1 rules.
      Conversely, can you or Newey care to explain how Exhaust blown diffusers and Coanda effects, which teams spent 100’s of millions trying to replicate and utilise, have some use outside of F1?

      Newey is merely scaremongering, due to the fact that engines can now challenge his beloved aerodynamics. Let the challenge remain, and let Newey work toward beating it rather than bleating about it.

      1. Please tell me where you read this?

        I have read Andy Cowell saying that they are achieving 45% in F1 (matching a turbo-Diesel) and that the hybrid technology will trickle down. Downsized engines like I mentioned before and the stuff that Toyota and BMW are already doing. Somewhere betwen those statements you are assuming a great deal.

        If F1 technology being road relevant were true, I am certain that it will not appear in their volume cars like the A-Class, but rather their high-end AMG products. So hardly likely to reduce global emissions levels when the Chinese alone are building circa 20million dirty vehicles every year.

        We desperately need a series where racers are seen to race. If we want to reduce our Carbon footprint then everyone needs to think about walking and cycling more and importantly drive less at a reduce average speed. This will have a huge impact on global emissions, it really is not complicated, it starts with the man in the mirror, not F1.

        I wholly agree with your comments about blown diffusers, and aerodynamics generally, there needed to be a sensible cost cap long ago, if only to increase the number of participants. The cost of entry is way too high.

        1. Well the A-class A45 AMG uses a turbo that was borne out of concepts from the early phase of Mercedes F1 4 cylinder designs. So we have an instant marker, then we have comments coming from Lowe:
          “However, the technology is no longer a one-way street. With racing engineers working alongside road car engineers, the shared expertise is “a loop of mutually beneficial exchange”, says Mr Lowe.

          Then we have Dr Thomas Weber of Mercedes stating:
          “Now with this really qualified team of engineers [at Brixworth], I have some ideas to do some of the advanced engineering studies and advanced development activities, and maybe also production of high-end models. The reason we can play this card is because Brixworth boss Andy Cowell reports direct to me.”

          Then we have Tobias Moers of Mercedes AMG arm stating:
          The guys in Brixworth [the UK base for Mercedes’ F1 motors] pulled down the shutters and closed the curtains for a year and a half because they were working on the new F1 rules,” he said, “but now they are open again. We have had a good relationship with them before and now this hybrid technology is something that we can start looking at.”

          Then we have Cowell stating that the MGU-h(heat) will be making a bow in production road cars. This along with the above comments you can glean what kind of projects Mercedes are working on.
          MGU-H tech was a bygone dream for production cars just 3 years ago, now it will be a production reality, exact timescales aren’t given, granted….but then Mercedes produced the A45 engine out of nowhere with direct input from Brixworth, specifically on the turbo.

          What price for the next gen A-Class AMG to have the aforementioned tech?
          Pretty short odds if you ask me. 🙂

        2. @Rodger J. said “If F1 technology being road relevant were true, I am certain that it will not appear in their volume cars like the A-Class, but rather their high-end AMG products”

          If you Google the subject, the first link is Andy Cowell making such a statement. Even Porsche and Ferrari have openly stated that they are following this development path. Whether they will use a hybrid turbo/MGU-H is still open to debate. Some manufacturers currently favour an electrically driven turbo, using energy harvested from the MGU-K.

  40. Joe,

    I love reading your ‘ruminations’ articles. Not so much a prediction of the future but allowing oneself to imagine different opportunities and outcomes that whilst probably unlikely are always entirely possible nonetheless.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on the possible outcomes of the next round of negotiations between the teams and the commercial rights holder, especially if the teams manage to achieve the seemingly impossible and actually negotiate as a single entity.

    I’d love to see a situation where the teams basically say something along the lines of:

    We are the sport, not the CRH, (FOM & CVC) or the FIA. It is the teams and the tracks that are the foundation of this great sport and the ones that attract the fans through our actions. We believe that the both the CRH and the FIA should receive a fee of 15% and 5% of net revenue respectively for the promotion of the sport and use of IP rights. The remaining 80% to be split in an equitable manor between all of the teams and tracks. This is the basis of our negotiation to create a sustainable and more importantly a growing business from which we can all benefit more profitably than we currently do. And since FOM, Bernie & CVC have done NOTHING to promote the sport (i.e. our business) since the last agreement then we will simply NOT negotiate with any of these parties.

    Bernie / FOM / CVC, through their own actions (and lack off) have made material damage to this sport (i.e. our business) and as such there will be NO NEGOTIATION with these parties at all.

    We look forwards to having a successful and profitable association with whichever entity /structure the FIA replaces FOM with, however if no such arrangement can be made then we’ll simply launch our own alternative series.

    PS. Good luck CVC selling your worthless shares in FOM without an agreement with us……

    1. Love your pipe dream, Mike. But the chances of all the teams standing together to take such a stance against Bernie, FOM and CVC are as close to absolute zero as, well, the boiling point of helium! (for reference: helium boils at 4K, or -269C, or very, very, very, very cold)

  41. What happened to that idea of Newey agreeing terms with another team but Horner getting wind of it and leaking details to the press, resulting in Newey telling the other team that he couldn’t trust them and pulling out?

    If that were the case, perhaps he’s been locked inside some kind of IPCRESS device in a corner of the workshop for 18 months or so while Red Bull claimed that he was off designing non-existent Aston Martins. That might explain why he’s spouting off Marko-esque guff about engines being the devil’s work… he just needs reprogramming.

    1. There is a story like that but it is in the dim and distant past and Horner was not involved. It may have involved the likes of Dennis, Lauda and Rahal

  42. Red Bull are in the great marketing position of not needing F1 anymore. Like Marlboro & JPS before, they have created a Brand & Sporting link that means they could fold and go, and probably 20 years from now, people would still think that they were current participants!
    As for F1 itself, from an enthusiasts point of view, it needs to work out what it is for, is it entertainment via a sporting activity, or is it purely an engineering and scientific activity? If the latter, then long term it will die out as the casual observers will not be very attracted, and the out and out fans will also be turned off. Most of the reason for that would be that engineering and science is geared to the head not the heart, and making racing purely a technical exercise, to satisfy the marketing departments of a handful of car makers, will not bring in the fans needed to support the already limited sponsorship fields. Why more people in the sport are not seeing this is something i fail to understand. Yes the current engine package is amazing, frankly it appeals only to geeks, and if one tries to discuss it with people who have no attraction to the sport, their eyes glaze over after 30 seconds….on the other hand if one asks them about Hamilton or Button, there is immediate connection, until they say that they wonder if JB will be in the JPS next year……see what i mean?

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